WTO MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE / SINGAPORE / 9-13 December 1996
STATEMENT BY KEIDANREN AND UNICE#1
13 December 1996
- European and Japanese business have been represented in Singapore to demonstrate their continuing support for the WTO's efforts to promote the multilateral liberalisation of trade and investment.
- We believe that the conclusions reached by Ministers in the final Declaration, while being a compromise, will both further strengthen the multilateral trading system and set a path for the future.
- The full implementation of the Uruguay Round Agreements and the reaffirmation of the forward work-programme they contain, including the unfinished work on telecommunications and financial services, within the agreed deadlines, is of overriding importance.
- We welcome the determination of governments to abide by the rules of the WTO and to settle any disputes within WTO procedures.
- The companies we represent have a major stake in the multilateral trading system and the success of the WTO. We shall be evaluating the conclusions reached in Singapore in more detail in the coming months, but already we can warmly welcome:
- the full participation in the Conference by all WTO Members and applicant countries;
- the intention to make membership of the WTO truly global as soon as possible;
- the renewed commitment to fully and effectively implement the existing WTO Agreements;
- the decisions to include investment, government procurement, competition, trade facilitation, in the WTO work-programme and to continue work both on trade and environment and the relationship between regional and multilateral trade regimes;
- the Ministerial Declaration on trade in information technology products with the aim of covering a wide range of products and the maximum number of countries;
- the decision to support work on core labour standards in the ILO, in which we will cooperate;
- the agreements reached on cooperation between the WTO and both the World Bank and the IMF which offer the prospect of greater coherence in economic policies.
- We are determined to continue to monitor developments closely in the coming period and to work together to promote all efforts to secure liberalisation of world trade and investment. We firmly believe that multilateral liberalisation within the WTO is in the interests of business and industry not only in our countries but in all countries of the world.
- Keidanren(Japan Federation of Economic Organisations)
- UNICE(Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe)
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