United Nations Industrial Development Organisation
The Director General of UNIDO, Li Yong of China, will step down soon. UNIDO, which is HQ’ed in Vienna, Austria, is an important UN agency for us in Africa. We cooperate closely with them on issues such as 4IR development in Africa. One candidate with a very strong potential to replace Mr Yong is Dr Arkebe Okubai of Ethiopia. Meanwhile Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, of Nigeria, who took over the World Trade Organisation in February is making her mark and driving the organisation to become much more conscious of the needs of the developing world. EFA will be attending the annual 2021 WTO Public Forum as a speaker later this year.
WTO continues its work on global trade agreements for ecommerce and the recent meeting of the Council on Trade in Services addressed the organisation’s work programme on ecommerce and the operationalisation of a waiver from WTO rules that allows members to offer more favourable market access for service providers from least developed countries (LDCs). WTO member states also reviewed services-related notifications submitted by a number of WTO members and addressed several services-related trade concerns. They also discussed issues related to services domestic regulation and the role of maritime transport in the post-COVID recovery in separate meetings.
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