OF DEVELOPMENTS IN THE
INTERNATIONAL TRADING ENVIRONMENT
MINUTES OF THE MEETING
17 February 2014
Chairperson: H.E. Mr Joakim Reiter (Sweden)
INTRODUCTORY REMARKS BY THE CHAIRPERSON
1. I would like to welcome you to this meeting of the TPRB, which was convened by Airgram WTO/AIR/4241 on 30 January 2014. The purpose of this meeting is for Members and Observers to undertake their annual overview of trade developments in the international trading environment which are having an impact on the multilateral trading system in accordance with Paragraph G of Annex 3 of the Marrakesh Agreement. As mentioned in the Airgram, today's discussion is assisted by the Director‑General's Overview of Developments in the International Trading Environment, including trade monitoring, which was circulated in document WT/TPR/OV/16 on 31 January 2014 in English. In accordance with the Rules of Procedure for meetings of the TPRB, the Director‑General's Report was issued as an unrestricted document.
2. At the outset, let me briefly recall the purpose of the TPRM according to Annex 3 of the Marrakesh Agreement, i.e. to achieve greater transparency in, and understanding of Members' trade and trade-related policies and measures. It is not intended to serve as a basis for the enforcement of obligations under WTO Agreements, for dispute-settlement purposes or to impose new policy commitments on Members. These fundamental principles apply fully to the trade monitoring exercise.
3. Secondly, I would like to say a few words on the timing of today's meeting. As many of you will know, the TPRB normally meets to discuss the Director-General's Overview at the end of the calendar year. However, as a result of intense preparations for Bali, and the Bali Ministerial itself, it was decided to post-pone the meeting until today. Thinking back, somewhat involuntarily, to our level of activity and number of late-night meetings in November and early December last year, I am sure most of you will agree this was a wise decision.