China will implement the outcomes approved at the World Trade Organization’s 12th Ministerial Conference－MC12－and support its reform so that the multilateral trading system can be more effective in improving global economic governance, said the Ministry of Commerce on Friday.
The ministry released an online statement after WTO members reached multiple deals in areas including health and food security at the MC12, which ended on Friday in Geneva, Switzerland.
WTO members have agreed on key issues like pandemic response, the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights waiver related to COVID-19, fishery subsidies, food security, the World Food Programme Food Purchases Exemption and e-commerce, the ministry said.
The MC12 outcome document reiterated members’ willingness to strengthen the multilateral trading system with the WTO as its core and promote the necessary reform of the organization.
The MC12, which was attended by trade ministers and other senior officials from the organization’s 164 members, is the WTO’s highest decision-making body, and is generally held every two years.
The ministry said these multilateral outcomes, achieved in the form of ministerial declarations and ministerial decisions, have further boosted the confidence of the international community in the multilateral trading system. They will also support the community to deal with global challenges and bring about economic recovery worldwide.
As the multilateral trading system is facing severe challenges, the success of the MC12 marks a crucial and important victory for multilateralism, and fully demonstrates the solidarity and cooperation of WTO members, the Commerce Ministry said in its statement.
The MC12, which opened on Sunday, was extended from four days to six days, in order to facilitate the outcomes on the main issues under discussion.
These moves will not only pave the way for reform of the WTO in the next step, but also uphold the core values and basic principles of the organization, like openness and nondiscrimination, said Xue Rongjiu, deputy director of the Beijing-based China Society for WTO Studies.