News & Events

Minister Coveney welcomes outcomes following WTO Conference

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney TD, has welcomed a number of significant outcomes following the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which concluded in Abu Dhabi late on Friday night.

These outcomes include the extension of the e-commerce moratorium, a development package to support the integration of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) into the global trading system and a renewed commitment from all member countries to restoring the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism in 2024. 

Minister Coveney said:

I warmly welcome the accession of new member states Timor-Leste and Comoros. Their accession, the first ones since 2016, shows the continuing appeal and value of the WTO as a multilateral organisation. I look forward to working with both countries as they avail of the full benefits of membership to shape trade policy in the future.”

Ireland also strongly welcomed the agreement to extend the e-Commerce moratorium. 

Minister Coveney added:

“I believe that this provides the greatest level of support to digital traders and particularly SMEs in a sector that is due to grow significantly in the next decade as trade and services are increasingly delivered digitally. The expiration of the e-commerce moratorium would have led to uncertainty and increased costs for businesses at a time when the level of economic uncertainty and trade tensions are at an all-time high. We look forward to progressing further work on the e-commence work-programme.” 

The package of measures for developing Members and Least Developing Countries will provide improvements in training and technical assistance and seek to enhance implementation of the special and differential treatment for developing and LDCs. 

Minister Coveney concluded:

This Ministerial Conference should also be seen as a staging post on the road to further reforms in the future. Ireland remains committed to finding a solution to dispute settlement reform to underpin the WTO system and promote open and fair rules-based international trade”.