The critical importance of keeping markets open in order to facilitate the flow of essential medical goods as well as agricultural and food products during the Covid-19 crisis once again topped the agenda when more than 60 World Trade Organization (WTO) member delegations met virtually to discuss longer-term strategies for addressing the adverse impact of the crisis on national economic and development prospects, as well as on the global economy as a whole.
“Multilateral cooperation is more important than ever,” David Walker, the New Zealand ambassador chairing the General Council said.
“Restarting the global economy and reinstating confidence for businesses and households will depend not only on when the health crisis is contained, but on coordinated, coherent and cooperative international economic policy responses,” he said.
“To build more resilient national economies, we must build more resilient international cooperation — and a more resilient and effective multilateral trading system,” Director-General Roberto Azevêdo told the gathering.
The WTO is continuing to track members’ Covid-19-related trade measures as part of its monitoring and transparency mandate. More information is available on its dedicated Covid-19 webpage.