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The WTO admits that there is still no convergence in the treaties in Argentina

The general director of the WTO, Roberto Azevêdo, admitted today that, a few weeks after the ministerial conference of the organization in Buenos Aires, "there is no convergence" even in any of the topics, but he assured that whatever the result, the appointment will not be the end of the road.

Geneva, November 27 (EFE) .- The WTO director general, Roberto Azevêdo, admitted today that, a few weeks after the ministerial conference of the organization in Buenos Aires, "there is no convergence" even in none of the issues, but he assured that whatever the outcome, the appointment will not be the end of the road.

In a meeting with the press, Azevêdo said that in the last two forums ministerial in Bali and Nairobi the World Trade Organization (WTO) achieved "very good results", both multilaterally and plurilaterally, with some of the "biggest reforms" since that the institution was created, which, he warned, does not mean that every meeting has the same success.

He considered the conference in Buenos Aires, between December 10 and 13, it represents an opportunity to "continue to generate results" and expressed his hope that it will be so.

"We are hopeful that in some areas we have the potential for results", stressed the head of the WTO, who gave as an example the talks on the constitution of public stocks for food security purposes and the elimination of subsidies for illegal or unregulated fishing.

He also mentioned the debate on domestic support (subsidies and other assistance programs that stimulate production and distort the trade) or restrictions on exports in agriculture.

"In other areas the possibilities of a result are smaller," he acknowledged, but there is an impulse in the matter of national regulation of services or the special safeguard mechanism for developing countries in the chapter on agriculture, as well as transparency in restrictions on agricultural export.

"There are several issues on the table, there is no convergence in any of them, we could have it in some or maybe not, I do not know," said the director. General of the WTO.

In any case, he reiterated, "no matter what happens in Buenos Aires, the important thing is that we are not at the end of the road", as some negotiations may continue after of that appointment.

He said the meeting will take place at a time "particularly difficult, as the global economy is still recovering" from the global financial crisis of 2008 and, although there are "signs of improvement, the base of growth has not fully returned".

Furthermore, he added, "the threat of protectionism continues", although "there is no real protectionism" in these moments.

The "dissatisfaction and disconnection" on the part of society and of powers like the United States with the multilateral system and a trade that they feel do not It benefits enough, which, Azevêdo warned, "does not help further integration at the international level."

He added that the United States has made it clear that it has reservations about the operation and the benefits of multilateralism, but, "in terms of concrete proposals on the table (facing Buenos Aires), they have supported some and rejected others."

"I would say that USA or a statement negotiated in Argentina.

In the opinion of the CEO, although the economic scenario is not too bright, "it is clear that it could be worse and, certainly, if not we had the WTO would be worse. "

He recalled that, after the end of the 2008 financial crisis, there were fears that protectionism would prevail and unilateral measures would proliferate.

"It did not happen, and in fact global trade was affected by restrictive measures by less than 5% compared to the two thirds it lost in the 1930s" as a result of the Great Depression, he said.

"The risks exist, the threats exist, but until now the trade has continued to flow, thanks to the WTO," said Azevêdo, who also assured that there are no proposals on the table for the reform of the organization.

On another risk, the "brexit" (the UK's exit from the EU) and the impact if that country exchanged the goods only under the rules of the WTO with the other twenty-seven countries of the bloc, Azevêdo noted that half of the foreign community trade is already done under the terms of the organization and the other with preferential agreements.

Although it would not be the end of the world, he stressed, the absence of a commercial solution when the UK leaves the EU would have an impact, so that "an agreement that preserves the current situation between the two parties" would clearly distort less.

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