, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 26 – Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed says all is set for the forthcoming 10th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference scheduled for December this year.
Mohamed said all logistics have been completed and there are ongoing meetings to see the event become a success.
“We hope the conference will agree to conclude the Doha Round of trade talks that have stalled over a divide on major issues, such as agriculture, industrial tariffs and non-tariff barriers, services, and trade remedies,” she said.
She also says the negotiations for the Continent Free Trade Area (CFTA) are on course as the Continental Task Force is expected to meet in June.
She said the main objective of the CFTA is to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments.
CFTA is expected to be launched in 2017.
The move comes as global trade in goods and services is projected to grow at 3.8 percent in 2015 against an earlier projection of 4.9 percent according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
WTO had also revised the projections to 3.1 percent from the previous 4.7 percent.
Kenya won the bid to host the 10th conference scheduled after member countries of the WTO unanimously made the decision following intense lobbying by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade led by the Cabinet Secretary.
This is the first time that the WTO Ministerial Conference is taking place in African.
Turkey, which was also competing to host the conference, withdrew her bid in favour of Kenya.
Earlier this month, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the conference logo and website at State House, Nairobi.
The launch took place simultaneously with a similar ceremony by the WTO General Council in Geneva, Switzerland.
Speaking at the launch, President Kenyatta said hosting the conference is not only an honour to the government and people of Kenya but also to the East African region and the entire African continent.
He said hosting the conference in Kenya signals the commitment of WTO members and the International Community to integrate the African continent into the Multilateral Trading System (MTS).