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TOBB President Calls WTO Director Lamy to Assure Confidence TEPAV’s guest Lamy shared the agenda of the upcoming 9th Ministerial Conference of the WTO, to be held in Ankara, and listened to the audience’s expectations from the conference.
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15/03/2013 - Viewed 1553 times


ANKARA / ISTANBUL – Pascal Lamy, Director General, World Trade Organization (WTO), was hosted by TEPAV during his first official visit to Turkey before the Ministerial Conference scheduled in December. At the meeting, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu asked the WTO to reassure private sector concerning the global trade system.

WTO Director Lamy delivered a speech at the meeting titled “On the way to the 9th Ministerial Conference: What to expect from the WTO.” The event was organized by the TEPAV Center for Multilateral Trade Studies (TEPAV|MUTS) in Ankara on Friday, 15 March 2013.

Lamy: “Turkey is a connection point”

Lamy stated that 2012 was the first year since the seventeenth century when the poor countries were producing more than rich countries, which has created turbulences within the international negotiation system. He said that the items on the agenda of the 9th Ministerial Conference of the WTO to be held on December were as facilitating trade and reducing the cost of crossing borders. Saying that Turkey was “a hot connection point between east and west and north and south” he also praised Turkey’s efforts to reduce the cost of crossing border and facilitate cross border trade.

FTA negations between the US and the EU

Touching upon the free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations about which have started between the US and the European Union, Lamy said:

"They need to negotiate important things to open trade transatlantic, but they can’t do that in WTO. Some say ‘We can’t do that in WTO because of China.’ Others say ‘We shouldn’t do that in WTO because we want to keep control on the result of this negotiation’.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu: “Expectations from the WTO are growing”

Delivering an opening address, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, cited the inconclusive Doha Round negotiations, arguing that the previous decade had been challenging for the multilateral trade system as well as the WTO. He stressed that expectations from the WTO about trade-related issues had been growing while inter-country discrepancies had yet to be overcome. Touching upon the problems facing Turkey in relation to the Customs Union, he talked about problems with the EU in terms of free trade agreements and visa and transport quotas, and stressed that the Union had been signing agreements with third countries before negotiating with Turkey.

He stated that the global trade environment did give confidence to the private sector and that it was critical for the WTO to assure that confidence. Emphasizing the importance of the forthcoming Ministerial Conference of the WTO for the future of the multilateral trade system and for the Organization per se, he accentuated the need to form a basis of solid steps that should involve the business world.

IKV conference on global supply chains

WTO Director General Lamy attended the conference titled “Global Value Chains: Implications on Trade and Investment Policies,” organized by Economic Development Foundation (İKV) and TEPAV|MUTS in Istanbul on Thursday, 14 March 2013.

The meeting started with opening addresses by İKV Chairman Prof. Dr. Haluk Kabaalioğlu and TEPAV|MUTS' Director Bozkurt Aran. In a later speech, Lamy gave information on the new WTO database of international trade measured in value-added that prevents double counting. He stressed that the figures for 2008 for the share of the services trade showed a rise from 23 percent in the traditional method to 45 percent in the new method that incorporates value-addition. Stressing within this context that the first lesson here was to remove the barriers that obstruct the services trade, Lamy said that imports were on the flip side, where efforts to shoot down imports might imply firing at exports.

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The conference continued with panel sessions that hosted James Zhan, UNCTAD’s  Director of the Investment and Enterprise Division; Enheng Li, Vice Chairman China Society for WTO Studies; Raed Safadı, the OECD’s Deputy Director of Trade and Agriculture Department; Alexander Tucci, Chief Economist of the European Commission in DG Trade; Prof. Dr. Mehmet Arda and Prof. Dr. Çelik Kurtoğlu from Galatasaray University; Sami Kariyo, Chairman of the board of directors of Penti; and Uğur Kayalı, Corporate Relations Coordinator of Arçelik.

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