WTO members agreed on 1 December 2023 on a draft decision to be submitted to trade ministers for approval at the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) in February 2024 to help further the integration of small economies into the world trading system.
Adopted at a meeting of the Committee on Trade and Development's Dedicated Session on Small Economies, it is the first draft decision for MC13 where consensus has been forged.
Submitted by the WTO's Group of Small, Vulnerable Economies (SVEs), the draft decision calls for WTO members to address the issue of integrating small economies into the multilateral trading system by looking into issues such as the impact of non-tariff measures on trade costs, the link between trade policies and climate change adaptation, global supply chains, e-commerce and digital ecosystems.
MC13 will take place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, from 26 to 29 February 2024.
The draft decision also calls on the Dedicated Session on Small Economies to continue monitoring the progress of the small economies' proposals in WTO bodies and negotiating groups and to assess the effectiveness of measures aimed at better integrating SVEs into global trade.
In addition, the decision requests ministers to take note of the work undertaken to date in the Work Programme on Small Economies.