Geneva, Switzerland-The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has called for maritime transport to be prioritised in multilateral trade negotiations ahead of high-level WTO meetings to take place this week.
While the 12th Ministerial Conference, where talks were to take place, has been indefinitely postponed due to the Omicron variant, a pared down schedule of meetings of WTO Ministers and governments will go ahead. Critical issues and challenges confronting the multilateral trading system and impacting the global economy will be discussed, including the ongoing impact of COVID-19.
In a briefing session with the business community, ahead of this week’s meetings, ICS urged WTO Director General, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to pay closer attention to maritime transport in WTO trade initiatives and negotiations. Formal discussions on the liberalisation of maritime transport services at the WTO have been halted for several years and national governments’ commitments towards liberalisation of maritime services in previous negotiations lack legal certainty, leaving the industry in perpetual limbo.
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