Samoa is among six Pacific World Trade Organisation member countries gathering in Fiji this week.
Samoa, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu are attending a Regional Preparatory Workshop organised by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (P.I.F.S.) and the World Trade Organisation (W.T.O.) Secretariat.
“This Workshop provides a valuable opportunity for the Pacific W.T.O. Members to enhance their understanding of the negotiations and to engage constructively, and prepare for upcoming W.T.O. 11th Ministerial Conference (M.C11) in December, to ensure meaningful outcomes,” Shiu Raj, Director Programmes and Initiatives at P.I.F.S. said.
At the M.C10 in Nairobi in 2015, W.T.O. Members made a commitment to advancing negotiations in the remaining areas of the Doha Development Agenda (D.D.A.) negotiations which include Agriculture, Non-Agriculture Market Access (N.A.M.A.) or industrial goods, Services, Rules (which include Fisheries Subsidies), Development and Trade -related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (T.R.I.P.S.).
The MC11 is expected to make decisions and give further guidance on the D.D.A. negotiations.
“The Fisheries Subsidies negotiation is amongst the most advanced, and is considered one of the important deliverables for M.C11.
Fisheries are a significant economic sector for the Pacific Island Countries who need to ensure that decisions taken at M.C11 support their fisheries development and management efforts,” Mr Raj added.
“M.C11 will be an important Conference for the Pacific Island Countries given the likely outcome on fisheries subsidies and the importance of meeting the S.D.G. target 14.6.”
Experts from the W.T.O. Secretariat, Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (F.F.A.) and P.I.FS. are supporting the Members in their discussions and deliberations to establish Pacific position on various areas of negotiations for the M.C11.
Participants at the workshop comprise senior government officials from the Ministries of Trade, Agriculture, Fisheries, and E-Commerce.
The W.T.O. Members are intensifying negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland, to prepare final negotiating elements for Ministerial consideration at M.C11.
Regional officials will discuss the main areas that are under active negotiations namely, Agriculture, Fisheries Subsidies, Development and Special and Differential Treatment (S&D.T.), and Emerging trade issues such as Digital Economy and E-commerce of direct relevance to the Pacific region.