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Russian economic development minister sees no alternative to WTO

August 02, 2017, 9:22 UTC+3 SHANGHAI
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SHANGHAI, August 2. /TASS/. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is not perfect but there is no alternative to it, Russian Economic Development Minister Maksim Oreshkin said addressing the seventh meeting of the BRICS group member states’ trade minister in the Chinese city of Shanghai.

According to the Russian minister, at present, the WTO multilateral trading system is often questioned because it takes the WTO a long time to make decisions and resolve disputes, so the organization fails to effectively regulate global trade.

"We cannot pretend that the WTO system is perfect and does not need any improvement," Oreshkin said. "However, we have no alternative to the WTO. The WTO is a unique international institution with its global trading rules, which guarantees a common playground for all the participants," the Russian economic development minister added.

Nevertheless, in his words, it is in BRICS member states’ interest to support the key role of the WTO in global economy and international trade. At the same time, the WTO system should be gradually improved, Oreshkin pointed out. "Any improvement should be well conceived as we do not need any rash actions which could damage the balance between the rights and responsibilities of the WTO members," he stressed.

The Russian economic development minister also said that the current protectionism trend in some of the WTO member states did not help maintain the stability of the multilateral trading system. Preparations for the G20 summit in Germany’s Hamburg showed that some countries had departed from the WTO’s international rules adopting the "do what I want" approach, Oreshkin noted.

"The WTO was established to counter such actions," he said.

"This is why it is vital for us to oppose the criticism of the multilateral trading system and the WTO, holding talks on that. The upcoming WTO ministerial conference in Buenos Aires [scheduled to be held in December - TASS] will provide a perfect opportunity for this," the Russian economic development minister concluded. 

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