WTO Ministerial Conference: Guyana calls for equitable support for all members

Minister within the Public Works Ministry, Deodar Indar is representing Guyana at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), where he has shed light on the need for equitable support for developing states.
Ministerial Conversations on Trade and Sustainable Development and Trade and Inclusiveness were held on Monday, geared at allowing Ministers to share their views on critical topical issues.

Minister within the Public Works Ministry, Deodat Indar participating in the session

Speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Member States, Indar noted that small Caricom States facing the challenge of ever-increasing external debt need to find the appropriate place in global value chains, which allows for balance of import and export values to support sustainable development.
The impact on small vulnerable economies of adverse climate events is more likely to be catastrophic in economic, environmental and social terms, said Indar.
He further observed that much more work needs to be done within the WTO “to find the right balance of measures that support sustainable development for all our members in an equitable and inclusive way. We must continue our examination of all these issues, even if we restructure the way in which we address them.”
Regarding Trade and Inclusiveness, Minister Indar emphasized on behalf of the region, that the discussions must represent the start of a transformative process that effects progress in reforming the WTO to fulfil all of its functions.
The Guyanese Minister reiterated that at the macro level, the mantra of full integration of Developing Members, including Least-Developed Members, into the multilateral trading system must go beyond the recitals in Ministerial declarations and statements.
At the micro-level, we must address the factors that marginalize small traders, including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in developing countries. Medium, Small and micro-enterprises (MSMEs) account for approximately 90 per cent of CARICOM enterprises; a significant portion of which operate in the informal sector.
MSMEs account for more than 60 per cent of Gross Domestic Product in some regional countries and create about 45 per cent of jobs. The sector is a key source of employment for women, youth and the rural poor.
It plays a leading role in the production and marketing of agricultural produce, construction, equipment repairs and maintenance, technical services, food and the retail trade, and dominates in some manufacturing sub-sectors such as wood products, garments and sewn goods and handicraft items, leaders heard.
MC13 is being held in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates until February 29, 2024. It is the highest decision-making body of the WTO. Minister Indar is accompanied by Chargé d’Affaires of Guyana’s Permanent Mission to the WTO, Bevon McDonald; Director of Foreign Trade, Paul Kalekyezi and First Secretary of Guyana’s Permanent Mission to the WTO, Colin Luckie.
Indar also led Guyana’s Delegation to the preparatory caucus of the meeting of the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), held on Sunday. The OACPS Ministers met to prepare for the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) of the World Trade Organisation and issued a Declaration following their meeting.
Speaking, on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Minister Indar urged the WTO to amplify the development dimension of its work and reiterated CARICOM’s commitment to an open, transparent, equitable and inclusive rules-based multilateral trading system under the WTO. (G12)