WTO 13th Ministerial Conference approves extension to TRIPS Waiver

ABU DHABI: The WTO 13th Ministerial Conference today approved an extension to the TRIPS Waiver, enabling developing countries to increase vaccine production capacity for COVID-19 and future pandemics.

The decision was one of the key objectives of the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference. Intellectual property laws account for 90 percent of non-tariff barriers to trade, so the decision will benefit least developed countries significantly.

The Ministerial Conference in its final statement also included new rules on local regulation of services, which will reduce trade costs by billions of dollars worldwide.

The WTO Ministerial Conference statement also affirmed the continuation of efforts to reform the Dispute Settlement System (DSS). This reform aims to establish a comprehensive, effective, and accessible system for all members by the end of 2024. To achieve this, the statement emphasises the need for inclusive and transparent discussions to build upon existing progress and address remaining challenges, includin
g those related to the Appellate Body.

Additionally, WTC member countries agreed to the extension of a moratorium on e-commerce tariffs until the 14th WTO Ministerial Conference in 2026. This decision marks a significant achievement for the conference, which tackled extensive negotiations on several key issues impacting the future of global trade.

Source: Emirates News Agency

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