All eyes on Kenya again as Nairobi hosts WTO talks next week

December 11, 2015
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The WTO meeting comes a few months after Kenya hosted the Global Entrepreneur Summit led by US President Barrack Obama/FILE
The WTO meeting comes a few months after Kenya hosted the Global Entrepreneur Summit led by US President Barrack Obama/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 11 – All eyes will be on Kenya again next week as Nairobi hosts The 10th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC10) that will be held between December 15 and 18.

This is the first time the conference is taking place in Africa.

In the upcoming discussions, Africa’s hope will lie in the successful conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA).

The Doha Declaration focused on the concerns of developing countries by promising major reforms in agriculture, particularly reductions in subsidies and tariffs provided by developed countries, Non-Agricultural Market Access, Special and Differential Treatment for developing countries, among others.

READ: WTO happy with Nairobi meeting preparations

According to Standard Investment Bank Research, The DDA was to systematically correct the multilateral trading system, to make it more relevant to these economies and their people placing the needs and interests of developing countries at the heart of Doha Work Programme.

“There are however fears that the Doha Round will be “closed” and not “concluded” without an exhaustive agreement. This could give rise to another agenda dubbed “Nairobi Round” which has far reaching ramifications,” the research bank noted.

READ: WTO delegates to inject Sh2.1bn into Kenya’s economy

The research bank indicates that for a successful outcome for Africa, the MC 10 should conclusively address issues of market access by Least Developed Countries, eliminate trade-distorting domestic support, elimination of export subsidies and application of export competition disciplines to cotton, duty-free quota-free access for cotton exports and affirmation of the development objectives of the DDA.

WTO is the sole global international organization with 161 members that deals with the rules of trade between nations. Its main objective is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business of trade in global markets fairly.

The ministerial conference is the highest decision making body of WTO and where the business of WTO is conducted.

The WTO meeting comes a few months after Kenya hosted the Global Entrepreneur Summit led by US President Barrack Obama and this will be a big win for tourism which has recently suffered due insecurity challenges.

The conference is expected to attract over 7,000 delegates.

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