Progressing Australia’s trade interests in Abu Dhabi

  • Joint media release with:
  • Senator The Hon Tim Ayres, Assistant Minister for Trade, Assistant Minister for Manufacturing

Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell and Assistant Minister for Trade Tim Ayres welcomed solid outcomes achieved at the 13th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC13), in Abu Dhabi.

Outcomes demonstrate the value of the WTO for our businesses, producers, exporters and workers - notably the commitment by WTO Members to accelerate efforts to fix the WTO dispute settlement system, so that trade is regulated by rules, not power.

Australia supported the renewal of the e-commerce moratorium, which has underpinned growth of the digital economy for over 25 years.

WTO Members also delivered a range of reform outcomes including finalising the Investment Facilitation for Development Agreement, and important ministerial discussions on industrial policy, environmental sustainability, and economic inclusion – all priorities for Australia's trade relationships.

We welcomed the accession of Timor-Leste and Comoros to the WTO, and the agreement for a strong package of assistance and flexibility for developing and least-developed countries.

It was disappointing that we did not reach outcomes on agricultural reform and fisheries subsidies, but we will continue to pursue Australia's interests in these areas, and to invest in strengthening and reforming the WTO.

We thank our counterparts from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and also senior Emirati and Australian business representatives, for productive discussions on strengthening our trading relationship.
Australia looks forward to a finalising a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the UAE this year - delivering benefits to Australian business, workers, and consumers.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator the Hon Don Farrell:

“Australia's top priority this week was to make as much progress as possible towards fixing the WTO dispute settlement system.

“WTO Members delivered important outcomes on dispute settlement and e-commerce which have set the WTO on a path to modernisation.

“The WTO underpins the global rules-based trading system and we need to ensure the rights and obligations of Members can be enforced.

“The Albanese Government is committed to expanding and diversifying our trading relationships, and I look forward to working with my counterpart, HE Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi to finalise a trade agreement between Australia and the United Arab Emirates.”

Quotes attributable to the Assistant Minister for Trade, Senator the Hon Tim Ayres:

“International trade and investment drives Australia's economic growth.

“MC13 was an opportunity to demonstrate to the world the importance of the WTO and its rules.

“The WTO underpins over three-quarters of global goods trade. It also provides a platform to tackle global trade-related challenges and help ensure the benefits of trade are accessible to all.”

Media enquiries

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