Azevêdo Visits 3 S.E. Asian Countries
Director-General Roberto Azevêdo of World Trade Organization wrapped up a three country visit to Malaysia (19-20 May), the Philippines (21-24 May) and Singapore (25 May) today, hailing the strong support of all three countries for the multilateral trading system and more specifically for a successful meeting of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, in December this year. The Director-General also was in the region to attend the APEC meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade held in Boracay, the Philippines, on 23-24 May.
Speaking from Singapore, the last leg of his visit, DG Azevêdo said, “I have been extremely encouraged by the strong messages of support in Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore at the highest political levels. In each country I heard strong and unwavering support for the WTO and a recognition of the importance of a successful meeting at our Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in December to advance the Doha Development Agenda negotiations.”
“Singapore, as one of the world's truly global cities, epitomises the benefits that international trade can deliver. I was strongly encouraged by the interest and engagement of the Singaporean Government in our work as well as from the business and the NGO community. This included very productive meetings with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang.”
“The Malaysian leg of my visit was equally productive. Malaysia as ASEAN Chair this year has a particularly important role that it can play in building support for the WTO in the region. I was delighted to hear from Prime Minister Najib and Minister for Trade and Industry Dato Sri Mustapa Mohamed and others that Malaysia and ASEAN are strongly behind our work, including the need to agree on a work programme by the end of July to advance the Doha negotiations.”
“In the Philippines I heard strong support for the WTO and the multilateral trading system. The Philippines has a key role to play this year as Chair of APEC and I congratulate President Aquino and Secretary of Trade and Industry Gregory Domingo on a most successful meeting of trade ministers in Boracay on 23-24 May.”
DG Azevêdo said he would be returning to Geneva immediately after Singapore to continue the ongoing consultations on the July work programme.