is a pleasure to address this gathering and report to you on progress
in the WTO. Much has happened since we met last April.
was an outstanding year for the World Trade Organization, perhaps the
most significant in our brief history. We concluded a successful
Ministerial Conference in Doha. We reached agreement on the launch of
a new round of trade negotiations. We placed development issues and
the interests of our poorer members at the heart of our work. And we
welcomed more than a quarter of the world's population into our
membership from China, Chinese Taipei, Lithuania and Moldova.
in Doha brought to an end the uncertainty created by the failure at
Seattle. We are back in business. And our business is trade
momentum since Doha has been equally impressive. Members have
established a Trade Negotiations Committee to oversee the
negotiations. They have appointed the Director-General ex-officio to
chair this body. The structure of the negotiations has been determined
and chairpersons of all the individual negotiating bodies decided
upon. As well, Members have chosen Mexico as the venue for the next
Ministerial Conference and Minister Derbez and his team have already
commentators suggested it would take many months, perhaps years, for
these decisions to be taken. That was the experience after the Uruguay
launch. However, through will and determination, Members have
proceeded rapidly to the substantive negotiations. For our part, the
Secretariat is well-prepared to assist Members in their work. We have
consolidated our internal structures and refocused our priorities
clearly to reflect the Doha Agenda.
believe we can conclude the round within the three-year timeframe
agreed by Ministers. But we must move the negotiations up a gear. And
we must carry into our work the lessons and insights from Doha. The
new roadmap to Mexico and on to the successful conclusion of the round
must include a number of key elements.
key to success will be technical assistance and capacity building
— helping poorer members to integrate into the trading system and
participate fully in the negotiations. In Doha, developing countries
put the “conditionality” of capacity building on further progress
in trade liberalization. This conditionality is understood by major
donors and supporters.
have already acted decisively by approving an increased Secretariat
budget for 2002 and pledging 30 million Swiss Francs to a
new Global Trust Fund for technical assistance. This 30 million,
which is double the figure that we asked for, is a solid step forward
for the Doha Development Agenda.
task is to make sure the resources are used prudently and properly. We
also have to ensure they are tightly targeted on the technical
assistance needs of members - based around the Doha Development
Agenda. Good progress has been made already. The Secretariat has a
comprehensive programme of activities for 2002 and we are proceeding
with implementation. We have also put in place new audit and
evaluation systems to ensure members are informed and that there is
greater transparency and accountability in our technical assistance
work. We are hiring new staff as well to bolster our technical
assistance capabilities. They will be in place in the next few weeks.
are looking to be innovative. Our current programme of activities
includes at least 15 intensive 3-week training courses and we
have also doubled the capacity of our WTO Training Institute. To
enhance these efforts, we are now moving quickly to establish in host
countries 3-month diploma courses for trade officials. These will be
based on the curricula of the WTO Training Institute and we will also
assist with standards-setting, quality control and identifying
suitably qualified teachers. The courses will help developing
countries build up a core of advisors for Ministers by the time of the
next Ministerial. I hope we can soon launch these courses in at least
2 universities in Africa. I hope too that the idea might eventually be
carried into other teaching institutions in Africa and other regions.
It is work in progress and ideally we should also prepare Masters
courses for young officials. This latter idea will not happen during
my tenure but it can happen in the time of my successor, Dr. Supachai.
part of our technical assistance mandate, we are also deepening our
partnerships with other agencies. This is well underway and I have
received encouragement and enthusiasm from all agency heads I have
approached. Working with other agencies, we are developing a new
database and country-files so that our collective efforts are
coordinated and so we can identify gaps in our delivery of
trade-related technical assistance. This will help us to be more
transparent and accountable to Ministers. We also need this early
warning system to find and fix gaps. Discovering problems next year
will be too late.
know that the requirements of developing countries in the area of WTO
or trade-related technical assistance extends well beyond what the WTO
can and should provide. We need to be absolutely clear about the
limits of what the WTO can do and cannot do with regard to the Doha
Development Agenda. It is not for us to tell countries and companies
to make T-shirts or shoes, build airports or seaports. It is true over
10 per cent of our budget goes to the International Trade Centre which
exists to help businesses navigate through agreements and rules to get
products to markets, and they do an excellent job. That's their core
business. Other organizations can help with physical infrastructure;
that's their core business. We can and do cooperate with other
agencies. But we must stick to our core business which is trade
liberalisation, the Doha Development Agenda and bringing down barriers
to trade so that people everywhere can benefit.
important element in the roadmap is getting out the right message to
mobilise public support. The potential benefits of the round are
enormous and the economic and development arguments compelling. But we
have to communicate these benefits in ways that rally not just trade
negotiators but politicians, policy-makers, the business community and
all other players in civil society:
all trade barriers could boost global income by $US2.8 trillion and
lift 320 million people out of poverty by 2015.
economic terms, cutting barriers to trade in agriculture,
manufacturing and services by a third would boost the world
economy by US$613 billion. That's like adding an economy the size
of Canada to the world economy.
development terms, the elimination of all tariff and non-tariff
barriers could result in gains for developing countries in the
order of $182 billion in the services sector, $162 billion in
manufactures and $32 billion in agriculture.
agricultural subsidies in dollar terms are two-thirds of Africa's
total GDP. Abolishing these subsidies would return three times all
the ODA put together to developing countries. Kofi Annan wants $10
billion to fight Aids; that is just 12 days subsidies.
and education are fundamental to any development programme. The
cost of achieving the core UN Millennium Development Goal of
universal primary education could be US$10 billion per year. Yet
developing countries would gain more than 15 times this amount
annually from further trade liberalisation.
seven of the UN Millennium Development goals – in health,
education, poverty, etc — would require US $54 billion annually,
— just one third the estimate of developing country gains from
course, developing countries need not wait until the conclusion of the
Doha Development Round. South/south trade in the 1990s grew faster
than world trade and now accounts for more than one third of
developing country exports, or about $650 billion. The World Bank
reports that 70 percent of the burden on developing countries'
manufactured exports result from trade barriers of other developing
countries. The quicker those walls come down, the quicker the returns
to developing countries.
important development and good governance issues such as transparency
in government procurement, competition policy and trade facilitation,
need direction from the highest political levels. Trade facilitation,
according to APEC and UNCTAD studies, will generate huge returns. An
Inter-American Development Bank study showed how in South America a
truck delivering product to markets across two borders took 200 hours,
100 of which were bound up in bureaucratic delays at the border. The
need for this public sector infrastructure improvement is desperately
urgent to protect and promote domestic property rights and justice
systems. Domestic red-tape and bad governance, wherever it occurs, in
developed and developing countries, is costly and corrosive.
task is to present these arguments to the public and seek the
additional horsepower that their support can give to our trade
negotiations. And if these do not convince, we have an array of
those concerned about the poor in developed countries, in US, EU
and Japan for example, studies show that import tariffs are lowest
on industrial supplies and luxury goods marketed to wealthy and
middle class families and highest on cheaper goods that poor
those concerned about the world's poorest countries, studies show
the extent to which trade barriers and tariffs of rich countries
work against them. Let me share one example from a book I read
recently. Mongolians and Norwegians both paid the US about
$23 million in tariffs last year. But Mongolia exported $143
million and Norway $5.2 billion, or 40 times as much. In effect,
Mongolians paid 16 cents to sell the US a dollar's worth of
sweaters and suits, while the Norwegians paid half a cent for
every dollar's worth of gourmet smoke salmon, jet engine parts and
North Sea crude.
those concerned about the environment, studies suggest there are
significant ecological benefits from removing fish subsidies.
arguments exist. It is a matter of communicating them effectively and
securing the support of key sectors of society. Businesspeople, for
example, need to be much more involved in our work and much more vocal
in their support for the trading system.
then are some of the important elements in the roadmap to Mexico and
towards the conclusion of the round; increased technical assistance
with greater accountability and transparency; coherence with other
agencies; outreach to civil society, effective communication of the
benefits of liberalisation and enlisting the support of key players
such as the business community. Beyond these elements, we need to
ensure our WTO processes adequately support the negotiations and are
transparent and credible. From my Doha experience, I can tell you it
is vital too that we keep Ministers fully informed and engaged in our
work. Their guidance, wisdom and flexibility will be needed at all
points in the negotiations. Finally, with all these elements of the
roadmap working, it is then up to the trade negotiators of WTO members
to work with commitment and flexibility to realise the enormous
benefits offered by the multilateral trading system.
I can report that the transition to my successor, Dr. Supachai, will
be seamless, professional and proper. Time is short and neither of us
can waste time in ensuring the process moves forward. I have told Dr.
Supachai that if you want gratitude in Geneva, get a dog; and if you
want to be popular with staff and other agencies, then don’t have
any new ideas. The reformer has for enemies all those who do well out
of the old conditions and lukewarm supporters of those who may do
better out of new conditions and opportunities. I have a background of
public sector reform but international institutions are different. I
have learnt that shortcuts take longer and that there is a difference
between efficiency and effectiveness.