Nairobi ready for 10th Ministerial Conference, WTO Secretariat says

World Trade Organization (WTO)
World Trade Organization (WTO)

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Secretariat has now confirmed that Nairobi is ready to host the 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organizations.

Speaking in Nairobi, WTO’s Deputy Director David Shark expressed his satisfaction in the preparation processes as well as commitment from the government.

After months of preparations, the venue, Kenyatta International Convention Centre has received a nod from the WTO secretariat who were quick to laud the effort from relevant organizing entities involved in the event.

A glimpse from outside as well as within the KICC also reveals a relentless pursuit to make the venue suitable for the global event that is coming to Africa for the first time in the organization’s 20-year existence.

An estimated 7,000 delegates are expected to attend the conference, half of whom will be foreigners with the trickledown effect being increased revenues for the country.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to officially open the meeting that seeks to improve world trade, while developing nations seek better terms for their goods meant for export markets in the developed worlds.

The meeting is also seen as crucial step towards the conclusion of trade talks that have been ongoing on since 2001 under what is officially referred to as the “Doha Round”.

The WTO was formed in 1995, taking over from the now defunct General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

As at November 13 this year, the global trade body had 162 members.

Two more countries, Liberia and Afghanistan, are expected to join the WTO during next week’s conference.

According to the latest numbers from the WTO, USD18 trillion worth of goods were traded in 2014, which works out to a mind boggling Ksh1.8 quadrillion worth of trade.

The world’s biggest exporters in 2014 were namely China, the United States of America, Germany, Japan and the Netherlands.

The world’s top importers on the other hand were the United States of America, China, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom.

Developed economies’ share of global trade stood at 54 percent, with 44 percent being the contribution of developing and less developed economies.

Africa’s share of global trade stood at a paltry 3 percent.

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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