Pursuing Australia's interests at the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference

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

Minister for Trade and Tourism Senator the Hon Don Farrell and Assistant Minister for Trade Senator the Hon Tim Ayres will travel to Abu Dhabi to lead Australia's delegation to the 13th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC13) from 26 to 29 February.

The top priority will be to make progress towards fixing the dispute settlement system, so that the rights and obligations of WTO Members can be enforced.

The Australian Government will pursue agricultural trade reform, the conclusion of negotiations on fisheries subsidies, and a renewal of the moratorium on imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions.

We will also seek to launch new discussions on key trade-related global challenges affecting Australia, such as industrial policy, environmental sustainability, and economic inclusion.

Australia welcomes the accession of Timor-Leste and Comoros to the WTO at MC13.

Timor-Leste is a close regional partner, and its accession will support the country's economic sustainability, diversification, and private sector growth.

Australia remains committed to assisting Timor-Leste achieve its goals post-accession, including through our AUD $8.6 million (2022-26) funding package to support its accession to the WTO and ambitions to join ASEAN.

Minister Farrell will also meet with senior ministers and business representatives of the UAE – Australia's largest Middle East trading partner – to progress negotiations for trade agreement, and promote stronger investment ties.

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

"At MC13, our top priority will be to make as much progress as possible towards fixing the dispute settlement system.

"At a time of heightened global uncertainty, a free, open and rules-based trading system is more important than ever.

"Australia wants to see strong reform outcomes that improve the WTO's ability to respond to contemporary challenges in global trade, and serve the interests of all Members."

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

"Australians benefit from trade in many ways: good jobs, stronger business investment, higher productivity and economic growth. Australian workers benefit from deeper trade and investment relationships underpinned by strong and effective global trading rules.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to support the Australian delegation, led by Don Farrell to advance these objectives in our national interest."

Media enquiries

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