WTO Ministers in Davos recognize necessity to open trade for recovery
Bern, 31.01.2009 - At the invitation of Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, 20 Ministers in charge of WTO affairs as well as WTO Director General Pascal Lamy met in Davos, Switzerland, today to discuss the global economic crisis and its effects on trade and the Doha Round. In her personal conclusions, Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard underlined the importance of open trade for economic recovery, which means hard work on the Doha Round and utmost restraint on protectionist trade measures. Furthermore, trade Ministers present at a WEF dinner on Friday night joined the views expressed by Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard in a declaration on ’Open Trade for Economic Recovery’.
Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard reminded her colleagues that in these difficult economic times, trade needs to be enhanced in order to ensure jobs and prosperity in all countries. At the same time, governments are facing a stiffer wind on the domestic front and calls for protectionist measures are growing. She welcomed the fact that the Ministers present endorsed the multilateral trading system, which, with its rules-based system greatly enhances trade and growth. She said that there was a need to re-establish credibility in the multilateral trade negotiations by quickly reaching a positive outcome in the Doha negotiations.
In order to assume leadership in the Doha negotiations, Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard suggested that Ministers meet more regularly to take stock of what has been achieved in the negotiations and provide impetus for the work ahead. She also urged for utmost restraint on trade measures and expressed her full support for the transparency initiative on trade measures proposed by Director General Pascal Lamy.
Furthermore, trade Ministers present at a WEF dinner on Friday night joined the views expressed by Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard in a declaration on 'Open Trade for Economic Recovery'.
Information for media:
The Federal Councillor's personal remarks, the statement on ‘Open Trade for Economic Recovery' and the list of Ministers present at the meeting are in the attachments on http://www.evd.admin.ch
Address for enquiries
Christophe Hans, Head of Communications FDEA, Tel. +41 79 705 14 57
Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, Ambassador, Federal Council Delegate for Trade Agreements, SECO, Tel. +41 79 271 96 22
Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research