Global Trade: Switzerland And Over 120 Countries Want To Facilitate Investment

(MENAFN- Swissinfo) Switzerland has joined more than 120 countries at a World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Abu Dhabi in favour of a plurilateral agreement to facilitate investment in developing countries.

This content was published on February 26, 2024 - 09:28 3 minutes Keystone-SDA
  • Português pt Suíça e mais de 120 países querem facilitar investimento no comércio mundial Read more: Suíça e mais de 120 países querem facilitar investimento no comércio mundial

The representatives of the countries, including the head of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Helene Budliger Artieda, voted in favour of the agreement on Sunday, the WTO said. The agreement after six years of discussions came as no surprise, as a number of outstanding issues still had to be resolved in recent months.

The agreement should remove bureaucratic hurdles for investments in developing countries. It will boost the economy and lead to more jobs, said the Director-General of the WTO, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The agreement would be the first of its kind on the international stage. According to estimates, the increase in investment associated with the reduction in red tape could generate social benefits of over CHF1 trillion ($1.13 trillion) a year and up to almost 1.5% economic growth.

+ WTO study: greater world trade helps overcome challenges

The majority of the countries supporting the agreement are poorer states. They have to convince India in particular, which is opposed to plurilateral agreements. A quarter of the WTO members did not take part in the talks. The 13th meeting of the World Trade Organization officially begins on Monday in Abu Dhabi.

Climate change and reforms

Prior to Monday afternoon's discussion in the ministerial round, the climate coalition published an initial list of measures to which its members intend to commit. Switzerland is a member of the coalition along with more than 60 other countries. In particular, they want to promote a link between trade, climate and sustainable development. They also want to support developing countries that are most vulnerable to climate change.

In addition to the climate coalition, Budliger Artieda also met the 13 members of the Ottawa Group in the run-up to the week of negotiations. The group brings together actors with similar approaches to Switzerland. They all want a breakthrough on the issue of reforming the organisation.

Translated from German by DeepL/ts

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