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WTO ‘still the best’ trade system

GERALYN EDWARD, [email protected]

WTO ‘still the best’ trade system

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THE WORLD TRADE ORGANSATION (WTO) may not be perfect but it is the best bet for small countries like Barbados to get fair treatment on trade issues when they come up against powerful countries.

This was the position of WTO secretary general, Ambassador Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo, who joined Minister of Foreign Affairs Senator Maxine McClean for a Press briefing yesterday at the ministry’s Culloden Road, St Michael headquarters. He is on a brief visit to the island.

Responding to a question that the Antigua/United States online gambling trade dispute showed that large countries appeared to use their size and influence to disregard some WTO rulings, Azevêdo conceded that enforcement of some “very sensitive” trade disputes was difficult.

He added: “The system is not perfect but it is a good system nonetheless, particularly the disputes resolution system of the WTO. We are now approaching 500 disputes in just 20 years. That means that members still believe in the system and that the system works, otherwise we would not have disputes. People would have given up.

Please read the full story in today’s Daily Nation, or in the eNATION edition.