The next World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting will be hosted in March 2024 in the UAE. The meeting venue and date have been decided according to a preliminary agreement. Both Cameroon and the UAE were trying to get hold of the agreement to conduct the meeting in their respective nations but after a peaceful round of discussions, it is finally decided that this time it will be conducted in the UAE.
two countries reached an “amicable agreement” for the UAE
The high-profile trade meeting known as the Ministerial Conference 13 (MC13) will be attended by trade ministers of multiple nations and there will be discussions on how to create new and better trade rules that will affect the trade network on an international scale.
The next meeting will be conducted in Cameroon according to the agreement reached through discussions and this was confirmed by the WTO’s General Council Head in a letter sent to Geneva. No official comment was available on this as the agreement still needs to be approved by the WTO’s General Council meeting.
The 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) was held in Geneva from 12 to 17 June 2022 at the WTO Headquarters. It was originally planned to be conducted in Kazakhstan in June 2020 but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it had to be postponed.
The conference was co-hosted by Kazakhstan and presided over by the Chief of Staff of Kazakhstan’s President. The conference started off with an opening session where pre-recorded statements of the attending ministers were submitted and posted on the official WTO website. In the following session, the challenges faced by the multilateral trading system were discussed.
In the next days of the conference, different sessions were held on multiple themes in different areas of WTO activities. The representative leaders of each delegation met at the end of each day to discuss the major points. The last year’s conference was extended by a day to go over all the issues that were taken to the desk and the conference officially concluded on 17 June.
Some of the key decisions made in the MC12 were to release a WTO package for emergencies, a ministerial declaration on emergency response to food security packages, the decision on exceptions from export restrictions on World Food Programme (WFP) purchases, a WTO response system for situations like Covid-19 and future pandemics, Intellectual property rights and its trade-related elements, fisheries subsidies, and E-commerce moratorium.
The next MC13 will also be an extension of some major concerns and decisions in the multilateral trade networks. The upcoming phase after Covid-19 will pose new challenges in the trade networks of different countries and especially in developing nations.
The UAE will be one of the major economic powerhouses that can influence the world trade structure in positive ways. The decision to diversify into the non-oil economic sector, increase the investment environment, fund new tech services, expansion of ports, etc. are some of the major strategies of the UAE administration to increase the overall GDP and development rate of the nation. 2022 was a major breakthrough year for UAE as its economy witnessed a steady rise in multiple sectors like trade, tourism, and tech.
The officials have created a roadmap for the coming years and the budget for 2023-25 also has been approved by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and a total of $55.81 billion has been allocated for expenditure.
Further, in 2023 and 2024, major economic events like Dubai Expo 2023, Gitex Tech Exhibition, and the MC13 will be hugely anticipated by the global community. The trade expansion policies under the planning of the UAE will have a larger impact on the policies of the West and the East as the UAE is seen as a bridge between both sides.