Global trade talks have opened with host Kenya highlighting their role in combating poverty – and urging African nations to diversify their economies.
Afghanistan and Liberia are set to join the World Trade Organization as it holds a ministerial conference in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, its first such meeting on African soil.
“This conference will boost trade and investment, create employment and ultimately contribute to poverty eradication,” Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, said in a welcome message on Tuesday.
He stressed the need for African countries to diversify their economies.
“National, regional and multilateral policy choices that we make will matter,” Kenyatta said. “The choices and positions we take will have consequences.”
The four-day Nairobi meeting comes two years after ministers from WTO member countries reached a landmark deal in Bali on overhauling global customs procedures.
The 2013 pact was the first multilateral agreement concluded by the WTO since its inception in 1995, and also the first concrete progress since the Doha Round of trade liberalisation talks began.
Insiders say negotiators will focus on trying to nail down a partial deal focused on agriculture export competition and trade development in the world’s poorest nations.
This post first appeared HERE