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Home SEYCHELLOIS PARLIAMENTARIANS DISCUSS TRADE OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES AT THE WTO PARLIAMENTARY CONFERENCE

SEYCHELLOIS PARLIAMENTARIANS DISCUSS TRADE OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES AT THE WTO PARLIAMENTARY CONFERENCE

 

Seychelles was represented at the Annual Session of the Parliamentary Conference on the WTO in Geneva by a two-member delegation from the National Assembly. The delegation head and Leader of Government Business, Hon. Marie-Antoinette Rose, was accompanied by Hon. Sebastien Pillay.

During plenary discussions, Hon. Rose underscored the colossal potential of the trade in services sector in furthering the development of small insular economies similar to the Seychelles, particularly in the financial services, tourism and medical sectors. The Conference Panel was very receptive towards Hon. Rose’s proposal to augment trade capacity building opportunities. The Panel agreed that the development of aid for trade capacity building is a priority. In his intervention, Hon. Pillay sought clarification on the treatment afforded to Small Vulnerable Economies (SVEs) and expressed concern regarding fisheries subsidies potentially threatening the sustainability of marine resources.

The conference which saw the participation of parliamentarians from around the globe was held from 16th-17th February, 2015.  The event aims to keep parliamentarians specializing in matters of international trade informed of recent developments in Doha Round negotiations. It is equally a platform for exchange whereby parliamentarians can suggest innovative ways of revitalizing the negotiation process and also interact with government negotiators, other parliamentarians, WTO officials and even civil society representatives.

In the margins of the conference, the Seychelles delegation met with the IPU Secretary General, Mr. Martin Chungong and the Permanent Representative of the European Union to the WTO, H.E. Mr. Angelos Pangratis to discuss the Seychelles context.

Hon. Rose and Hon. Pillay both agreed that the conference provided them with a wealth of information, particularly in regard to WTO trade facilitation measures and the functioning of the organization. This is particularly relevant now since the Seychelles will soon be a member of the WTO.