WTO foreign ministers convene 11th conference hinh anh 1The Vietnamese delegation at the conference (Source: VNA)

Buenos Aires (VNA) – The 11th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference opened in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 10 with the participation of more than 400 delegates from 164 member countries.

The Vietnamese delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh, and joined by Ambassador Duong Chi Dung, Head of the Vietnamese Permanent Mission to the UN, the WTO and other international organisations in Geneva, and Vietnamese Ambassador to Argentina Dang Xuan Dung.

Opening the event, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo lauded the contributions of member countries in facilitating global trade, especially amidst the global economic crisis.

He affirmed the WTO will stick to multilateralism, while calling for members’ greater flexibility in negotiations for global trade issues.

He also acknowledged there are large differences in negotiations, as well as the threat of trade protectionism. He stressed the need to improve the multilateral trade system, an important factor for world economic growth and stability.

Azevedo also called for WTO members to strengthen their commitments to the world trade system, while focusing on developing human resources, protecting the environment and ensuring gender equality and social equality.

At the conference, Argentinean Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie delivered a Buenos Aires Joint Statement, which was signed by 10 countries.

The nearly 180 foreign ministers at the conference will have four working days to discuss food security, agriculture development, fisheries support, e-commerce and tax on industrial products.

On the sidelines of the event, a number of conferences will also be held, including a workshop on sustainable trade and development, a business forum and a WTO parliamentarian conference. The EU and the North American common market (Mercosur) are expected to issue a joint statement on the outcomes of negotiations for their free trade agreement.-VNA