Regional Journalists benefit from World Trade Organisation’s International Trade Policy Seminar

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Fourteen English-speaking journalists from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean recently participated in an International Trade Policy Seminar organised by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
The seminar, which began on Monday, December 10, 2018, and ran through to Friday, December14, was organised to educate journalists about the WTO’s framework and trade negotiations between the 164-member states, including Antigua and Barbuda.
Journalists got a better understanding of trade agreements, market access, trade in agriculture, the policy review mechanism, and opportunities and challenges in a globalised world “Trade is important, as it provides the resources our country does not have, while driving economic growth, enhanced efficiency, increased innovation, and the greater fairness that accompanies a rules-based system.
These benefits increase as overall trade – exports and imports – increases. Free trade increases access to higher-quality, lower-priced goods,” said media producer Daveile Payne-Abbott, who represented the new Antigua Observer at the trade policy confab.
The one-week event also provided a better understanding of how Antigua is currently engaged in discussions concerning our small, vulnerable economy as far as dispute settlement is concerned.
The WTO dispute settlement system is of special interest to Antigua and Barbuda, especially with respect to gaining compliance on the rulings and recommendations of the Dispute Settlement Board (DSB) in Dispute 285: Measures Affecting Cross-border Supply of Gambling and Betting Services, with Antigua and Barbuda as the complainant.
In his opening remarks, Keith Rockwell, spokesperson and director of the Information and External Relations of the WTO, explained that the dispute settlement system is the most severe of the challenges facing the WTO.
However, some member countries have presented reform proposals to the WTO to enhance its operations and remedy the challenges.
Participants included journalists from China, Jordan, Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Singapore, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Tanzania, Indonesia and South Africa.

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