Barbados??? leadership on Small Economies issues and its advocacy on behalf of Small Vulnerable Economies (SVEs) in the current Doha Development Agenda negotiations have been praised.

The commendations came last month at Barbados??? Third Trade Policy Review in Geneva, Switzerland, where Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, met briefly with Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Roberto Azevedo.

The Director General shared his perspective on the status of the negotiations, and said he was optimistic that considerable progress would be made towards concluding the Doha Round, which was launched in Doha, Qatar, in 2001.

Senator McClean stressed that as a small country, Barbados sought to work within the trading rules. She expressed appreciation to the WTO for training opportunities, which she stated served to enhance the technical capacity of public officials in Barbados.

The work programme towards concluding the Doha Round focuses mainly on trade in goods and services and Barbados is seeking in this forum to ensure that the interests of small countries like itself are maintained.

It was noted that members are currently engaged in preparations for the 10th session of the WTO Ministerial Conference, scheduled to be held in December 2015, in Nairobi, Kenya.

Both Senator McClean and Director General Azevedo agreed that concerns and specific needs of SVEs like Barbados should be accommodated within the deliberations of the WTO.

Author: Ministry of Foreign Affairs/BGIS

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