Tenth WTO Ministerial Conference

15 Dec 2015 to 18 Dec 2015
Geneva

The Tenth  World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference will be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 15 to 18 December 2015.

On 28 July, a Landmark Information Technology trade deal was reached at the WTO in Geneva for duty-free import and export of IT goods. Following the last negotiating round (14-18th July), chaired by EU’s Ambassador Angelos Pangratis, the participants reached an agreement on the 'Declaration on the Expansion of Trade in Information Technology Products' and the list of products attached to it. The latter includes 201 IT-related products ranging from medical devices, smart cards and global positioning system equipment to video game consoles and e-education devices. This paves the way to finalising the agreement at the Ministerial Conference.

The topmost decision-making body of the WTO is the Ministerial Conference, which usually meets every two years. It brings together all members of the WTO, all of which are countries or customs unions. The Ministerial Conference can take decisions on all matters under any of the multilateral trade agreements.

The WTO provides a forum for negotiating agreements aimed at reducing obstacles to international trade and ensuring a level playing field for all, thus contributing to economic growth and development. The WTO also provides a legal and institutional framework for the implementation and monitoring of these agreements, as well as for settling disputes arising from their interpretation and application. The current body of trade agreements comprising the WTO consists of 16 different multilateral agreements (to which all WTO members are parties) and two different plurilateral agreements (to which only some WTO members are parties).

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