ATN Advocates for Inclusive Trade Policies Ahead of WTO MC13

Dar es Salaam. In anticipation of the Thirteenth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC13), the Africa Trade Network (ATN) is making waves with its impassioned call for trade policies that empower African economies.

As the global community converges in Abu Dhabi from 26th to 29th February 2024 for this critical conference, ATN’s statement resonates with a vision of inclusivity, sustainability, and economic transformation.

ATN’s emphasis on preserving policy space for industrial development is encapsulated in the words of their statement, where they declare, “The ultimate test of a successful trade policy should be whether it promotes economic diversification, increasing value addition, and industrial upgrading without deepening inequality domestically and among nations or contributing to environmental degradation.”

This assertion underscores the network’s commitment to a holistic approach to trade policies that extend beyond economic gains. It sets the stage for a paradigm shift, urging global leaders to consider the impact of trade on societal well-being and environmental sustainability.

The Africa Group Ambassadors to the WTO have brought to light key concerns shared by ATN, emphasizing the need to rebalance trade rules to actively promote industrialization and address climate challenges.

In echoing these concerns, ATN strives for a delicate equilibrium where economic growth goes hand in hand with environmental stewardship.

ATN’s call for meaningful integration into global value and supply chains is reflected in their statement, stating, “Trade rules should provide for producers and countries in Africa the necessary policy space to integrate more meaningfully and qualitatively in global value and supply chains”.

This plea for a departure from the role of primary product suppliers to active participants in the production of intermediate and final goods encapsulates the network’s vision for a more interconnected and empowered Africa.

The network’s focus on green industrialization aligns with the evolving global energy landscape. “In an increasingly uncertain global energy supply environment amidst the increasing energy transition dogma, policy space is required to promote green industrialization,” states ATN.

This forward-looking perspective acknowledges the challenges of a changing world and positions green technologies as a critical complement to adaptation and mitigation strategies against climate change.

As the world looks towards the Thirteenth Ministerial Conference, ATN’s statement serves as a rallying cry for inclusive and sustainable trade policies.

The network’s vision encapsulates the collective aspirations of African nations for a trading environment that fosters economic growth, preserves the environment, and leaves no one behind.

 It is a reminder that as the world engages in trade negotiations, the focus should be on building a future that is equitable, resilient, and sustainable for all.

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