Message from WTO Director General Pascal Lamy to the delegats of the 43rd General Assembly of the World Trade Centers Association
25.09.2012 | IBC "Russia in the WTO"
43RD GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTERS ASSOCIATION
Message from Pascal Lamy
24 SEPTEMBER 2012
"I regret that I am not able to be physically present in this 43rd General Assembly of the World Trade Centers Association in Moscow.
On these same days, the World Trade Organization is hosting here in Geneva its Public Forum, which is our main annual outreach event to civil society.
I wish, however, to send a brief salutation to this General Assembly and to its Forum on 'Russia in the WTO'.
As you all know, the General Assembly of the World Trade Centers takes place barely one month after the Russian Federation acceded to the WTO.
At a time of global economic uncertainty, the WTO offers a
Russia’s accession is a key event in the history of the WTO and the Multilateral Trading System. It will help to integrate further the Russian economy into global markets and production chains. With Russia as a Member, the WTO can truly live up to its ambition of being a WORLD organization with almost universal coverage. The WTO now covers 97 per cent of world trade in goods and services.
This is a timely occasion for the Russian business community to discuss the importance of WTO accession, and the way in which WTO membership creates opportunities for the development, diversification and modernization of the Russian economy.
Russia’s process of accession to the WTO was long and -as customary in this type of negotiations- often difficult. Yet in some way the real challenge is only starting now.
As part of its effort to join the multilateral trading system, the Russian government has undertaken important commitments, in terms of tariff reductions and opening of services.
But Russia’s commitments go beyond market access in specific sectors; they will result in a more open, transparent, simplified and predictable trade regime.
It is now up to the government of Russia, to its business, to its civil society, to use the opportunities offered by participation in the WTO in order to fully realize the benefits that accession can bring.
WTO Members and the WTO Secretariat stand ready to work together and promote the active and positive participation of the Russian Federation in the
I wish you a fruitful discussion in the Forum and a successful General Assembly. I am very interested in receiving information on the discussions and hope that we will have other opportunities in the future of supporting the Russian business community and the activities of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation."