Statement By The Deputy Permanent Secretary Of Ministry Of Industry, Trade And Investment Of The United Republic Of Tanzania During WTO Informal Ministerial Conference in New Delhi, India 19-20 March, 2018.

Honourable Chair,

Honourable Ministers,

WTO Director General,

Excellency Ambassadors,

Ladies and gentlemen,


On behalf of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, I would like to thank our host the Government of India for the warm hospitality and for organizing this important conference.

This meeting has been timely called for at the aftermath of MC11 deadlock to provide members an opportunity to exchange views on the way forward. The views from our exchanges on the other hand will serve as informal guidance to our negotiators in Geneva.

Honourable Chair,

In going forward, our officials in Geneva should intensify discussions in exploring various options in all issues of negotiations as we are heading to MC12. We should avoid the last-minute rush during the ministerial year, as that will not serve us in attaining meaningful outcome for MC12.

My delegation wishes to reiterate its understanding that in the absence of new guidance on some issues from MC11 in Buenos Aires, negotiations on those issues will be based on the previous mandates, that is to say we are not expecting officials in Geneva to delve into unfruitful discussions on mandate. The options to be sought on those issues should be framed within existing mandates.

Honourable Chair,

Among issues which their negotiations will rely on the previous mandates include the public stockholding for food security, special safeguard mechanism (SSM), domestic support on cotton, domestic support in agriculture and special and differential treatment (S&D). All these issues are relevant and important to most of our economies. However, we believe there are better options and approaches that can be sought to attain outcomes which will not be misused by beneficiaries particularly on public stockholding, SSM and S&D provisions. My delegation therefore, will support such approaches with a view to promoting fair and enforceable multilateral trading rules.

Honourable Chair,

With regards to the concern you have raised in your information note, namely the issue of Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), my delegation like many others believe that we need to rescue the system from the current situation in order to sustain its stability. However, we are cognizant of the fact that the system might not be perfect but we need to have it functioning and any improvement can be done progressively. Tanzania like many other members, are concerned with the non-replacement of DSB members which greatly undermines the functionality of DSB system. We therefore call upon members to act together to ensure that Dispute Settlement Body remains functioning.

I thank you Chair.