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  February 26th, 2024 | Written by

UK Trade Secretary Advocates for Free and Fair Trade at WTO Conference in Abu Dhabi

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Kemi Badenoch, the Trade Secretary of the United Kingdom, is spearheading efforts to uphold free and fair trade and safeguard UK businesses against escalating global trade barriers. Badenoch, along with Trade Minister Greg Hands, is representing the UK at the World Trade Organization’s Thirteenth Ministerial Conference (MC13) in Abu Dhabi, where trade ministers from over 150 countries are convening to negotiate international trade regulations affecting tariffs, regulations, and cross-border commerce.

Badenoch emphasized the importance of free trade in generating employment opportunities, fostering business growth, and improving economic prospects for individuals. She stressed the UK’s commitment to dismantling trade barriers and creating favorable conditions for companies and consumers worldwide, aligning with the government’s agenda to stimulate economic growth and enhance opportunities for youth.

The WTO, as the arbiter of global trade rules, has significantly contributed to the expansion of international trade by reducing trade costs and tariffs for its member countries. The UK aims to actively participate in negotiations during MC13 to advocate for key objectives, including maintaining low costs for online trade, strengthening the dispute settlement mechanism to address unfair trading practices, promoting sustainable fishing practices, and facilitating investment in developing countries through agreements like the Investment Facilitation for Development Agreement.

Trade Policy Minister Greg Hands echoed the UK’s commitment to championing free trade, emphasizing the country’s mission to be a leading advocate for global trade liberalization. He highlighted the UK’s proactive stance in supporting least developed countries through initiatives like the Investment Facilitation for Development Agreement and increased funding to the WTO’s Enhanced Integrated Framework.

Minister for Development Andrew Mitchell underscored the transformative impact of trade on prosperity and development, reaffirming the UK’s dedication to supporting developing countries in benefiting from free trade and global investment opportunities.

Additionally, UK ministers are seizing the opportunity at MC13 to advance talks on a Free Trade Agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and engage with Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) member countries ahead of the UK’s anticipated ratification and entry into force of the agreement later this year.

The UK’s active participation in global trade negotiations underscores its commitment to fostering a robust and inclusive global trading system that benefits all nations.

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