The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's delegation, led by minister of commerce and industry Dr. Tawfiq bin Fowzan Al-Rabee'a, to the 10th World Trade Organization (WTO) conference, recently concluded in Nairobi, Kenya, has successfully defended the country's national interests, it was reported yesterday.
In remarks to highlight the Saudi delegation's efforts at the meeting which took place from 15-19 December, and was prolonged for one more day to pave the way for reaching a convergence of the parties on thorny issues, Dr. Al-Rabee'a cited that the Saudi delegation gained support for its agricultural and basic trade dealings in addition to preserving the privileges and flexibilities which were demanded by newly-admitted countries, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for the Extensive commitments offered by some countries when admitted to WTO.
The Saudi delegation also suggested changing the title of newly-admitted countries to member parties according to Article 12 of Marrakesh Accord so that they could enjoy the benefits of flexibility, regardless of the number of years lived since they have joined the organization.
Also, a more clear and strong version was inserted into the ministerial declaration than was in Hong Kong 6th conference of WTO 2005 statement, despite the opposition of some advanced countries like the United States, Japan and the EU during the negotiations, a clause that defends Saudi Arabia's interests in future negotiations even in case the Doha Round for Development negotiations fails. During consultations, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia firmly stated that it would not accept a ministerial declaration that would not include this paragraph, which received the support of both the Peoples Republic of China and the Sultanate of Oman.