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DG Azevêdo welcomes Côte d’Ivoire’s efforts in trade facilitation
WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo visited Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on 16 February as part of his current visit to West Africa. The Director-General met with President Alassane Ouattara, Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan, Minister of Trade Jean-Louis Billon and other senior government representatives to welcome Côte d’Ivoire’s leadership on trade facilitation and discuss how the WTO can complement initiatives to support the country’s development.
The Director-General said:
“Côte d’Ivoire has been working hard to boost growth and development through a series of reforms, including by improving infrastructure and facilitating trade. This is already bringing results and creating a more business-friendly environment in the country — but of course there is still work to be done. The WTO can help Côte d’Ivoire in this effort.
“Implementing the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement will complement the country’s initiatives and will have a positive impact on the economy. By making trade flows easier and more predictable, the Agreement will help the integration of Côte d’Ivoire into global value chains and support the diversification of the economy.
“Côte d’Ivoire has shown real leadership on this front. It was one of the first African countries to ratify the Trade Facilitation Agreement and is now laying the foundations to make the benefits of the Agreement a reality. I saw this leadership during a series of excellent meetings in Abidjan today, and I was very encouraged by the government’s commitment to use trade as a tool for growth and development. I support this endeavour and look forward to strengthening the WTO’s fruitful partnership with Côte d’Ivoire in the years ahead.”
During his time in Abidjan the Director-General also addressed a meeting of government officials and private sector representatives, reviewing the results of the WTO’s 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi and discussing the future work of the organization. The Director-General’s full speech is available here.