Working Party on State Trading Enterprises - Report (2022) adopted on 21 October 2022


ADOPTED ON 21 october 2022

1  OrganiZation of the work of the Working Party

1.  The Working Party on State Trading Enterprises (the Working Party) was established by the Council for Trade in Goods at its meeting of 20 February 1995, pursuant to paragraph 5 of the Understanding on the Interpretation of Article XVII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (the Understanding). Membership of the Working Party is open to all Members indicating their wish to serve on it. Observer governments in the General Council of the WTO have observer status in the Working Party.

2.  The mandate of the Working Party is set out in paragraph 5 of the Understanding. The Working Party completed its mandate to develop an illustrative list of state trading relationships and activities with the adoption of the Illustrative List by the Council for Trade in Goods on 15 October 1999 (G/STR/4). Having also completed the mandated revision of the questionnaire on state trading, the Working Party now reviews notifications in light of the revised questionnaire adopted on 14 November 2003 (G/STR/3/Rev.1), as well as counter-notifications.

3.  This report is submitted under paragraph 5 of the Understanding, which provides that the Working Group shall report annually to the Council for Trade in Goods. The report sets out the activities of the Working Party during the review period, which runs from 6 October 2021 through 21 October 2022. During this period, the Working Party held two formal meetings, on 13 May 2022 and 21 October 2022. The minutes of the former were circulated as document G/STR/M/40, and minutes of the latter will be circulated as G/STR/M/41.

4.  During the first part of the review period, Mr Sultan Alsharif (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) was Chair of the Working Party and Ms Bing Lou (New Zealand) was Vice-Chair. On 23 May 2022, the General Council elected Mr Agustín Navarro de Vicente-Gella (Spain) as Chair of the Working Party, and in September 2022 the Working Party elected Ms Lucille Veronique Brutus (Seychelles) as Vice-Chair.

2  Notification and review of Members' state trading activities

5.  Article XVII:4 of the GATT 1994 and paragraph 1 of the Understanding require Members to notify their state trading enterprises to the Council for Trade in Goods. New and full notifications were first required in 1995 and, subsequently, every third year thereafter, with updating notifications in the intervening years. Since 2004, new and full notifications have been due every two years and updating notifications have been eliminated.

6.  During the period under review, the Working Party reviewed new and full notifications from: Argentina; Australia; Brazil; Cambodia; Canada; China; Dominican Republic; El Salvador; European Union; Georgia; Honduras; Hong Kong, China; Iceland; Israel; Japan; Kyrgyz Republic; Macao, China; Malaysia; Mali; Moldova; New Zealand; Nicaragua; North Macedonia; Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; Tonga; Ukraine; United Kingdom; and United States of America. It also returned to the previously reviewed notifications of India and Viet Nam.