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Trade Minister holds bilateral talks with WTO Director General & UAE's Trade Minister on margins of MC13
  • Registration date2024-02-26
  • Attached file

Minister for Trade Inkyo Cheong, on the margins of the 13th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC13), held bilateral talks with the WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the MC13 host country United Arab Emirates (UAE)’ Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, respectively, on February 24, followed by a meeting with representatives of Korean businesses operating in the local UAE market to discuss measures for facilitating the utilization of the Korea-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).


Minister Cheong expressed agreement to Director General Okonjo-Iweala on the need for the WTO reform and for making significant progress in key negotiations for the restoration of the WTO-led multilateral trade system amid concerns raised over the contraction and disruptions in global trade, and also exchanged views over in-depth talks on the key agenda items for MC13.


Trade Minister Cheong emphasized the importance of making progress on the WTO reform for normalizing the dispute settlement system by the end of this year, incorporation of the Investment Facilitation for Development (IFD) Agreement into the WTO system, and the extension of the moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions. He also stated that Korea will engage actively for a successful MC13 based on support for multilateral trade and assessed that the Korea-WTO cooperation has strengthened owing to the Director General’s visit last May, requesting interest in opportunities for Korea’s capable trade talent to take an active part in the WTO.


On the margins of the talks, Trade Minister Cheong officially announced the Korean government’s decision to provide KRW 1.4 billion for the WTO Fisheries Funding Mechanism to support developing countries’ implementation of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies.


Trade Minister Cheong also met with Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, MC13 Chair and UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade. The two trade ministers shared the anticipation for the Korea-UAE relations to further deepen through the Korea-UAE CEPA signed last October based on the bilateral diplomatic ties established in 1980, and agreed to swiftly proceed with the formal signing and ratification submission so that both countries’ peoples and businesses can benefit early on from the Agreement. Moreover, Trade Minister Cheong noted that Korea will make continued efforts to implement the Korea-UAE Trade and Investment Promotion Framework (TIPF) sealed on the occasion of the state visit last January and expressed Korea’s support for the UAE’s accession to the Digital Economic Partnership Agreement (DEPA), to which Korea acceded last June.


On the heels of the two bilateral talks, the trade chief met with representatives of Korean companies operating in the local UAE market and gave a briefing on the Korea-UAE CEPA inked last October and led discussions on measures for securing a competitive advantage utilizing this Agreement. The conference was attended by representatives of Korea’s major and promising export sectors like automobiles and defense, as well as those expecting to benefit from the opening of the services market through the Korea-UAE CEPA, such as healthcare and e-commerce.


Trade Minister Cheong will be participating in the WTO’s MC13 through February 26-29 and hold bilateral talks with other countries’ trade leaders.