The Ministry of Economy has said that the two proposals by the United States of America to the World Trade Organisation, WTO, related to developing Member countries and the benefits granted to countries with the special status will not affect the UAE’s current obligations to the organisation.
It also noted that the UAE will not oppose related decisions if approved by the WTO’s member countries.
In a statement to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, in response to press reports citing the potential effects of the US proposals to the UAE, the ministry stressed that the Special and Differential Treatment (S&D) flexibilities that all developing countries enjoy, refers to a legal category in the WTO’s current conventions, providing developing countries the flexibility to meet their obligations.
The ministry added that articles related to special status can be divided into four categories, which are providing longer periods to implement conventions and obligations, implementing measures to increase trade opportunities, urging WTO member countries to consider the trade interests of developing countries, and supporting developing countries in building infrastructure, settling conflicts and meeting technical standards.
The ministry statement noted the US proposal as saying that the inability to differentiate between developed and developing countries will put the WTO at risk. However, it stressed that the UAE will not be affected by the proposal because it has completed scheduling its commitments in terms of goods and services since 1996, adding that it believes in trade liberalisation and joined the WTO at an early stage to meet its commitments.
The UAE is also a key regional and international trade centre, so benefitting from the flexibility provided by the measures will increase trade opportunities for developing countries, which the UAE does not require as it has established itself in the global trade system, due to its policy of trade openness.
The UAE is also among the most active countries in the region in terms of trade, and many countries have commercial interests in the UAE, due to its advanced infrastructure that has made it a trading hub for goods to and from the Middle East and Africa. Therefore, considering the commercial interests of developing countries are not important to the UAE, due to its stature as a vital trade centre in the region, the statement continued.
The country can also benefit from technical support programmes in all areas through self-financing. Providing technical support to the WTO’s member countries is important, but is not an issue affecting the UAE, as it is capable of funding these programmes.