His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, has witnessed the inauguration the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13) in Abu Dhabi. The event was also attended by a number of ministers, heads of delegations of participating countries, and representatives from global economic and trade organisations.

His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade and Chair of MC13, delivered a speech welcoming guests, and highlighting that Abu Dhabi, as the capital of the UAE, is the ideal place to achieve the objectives of the conference. He added that since the UAE was founded, the country has been committed to supporting international consensus in economic affairs, which has made it a pivotal trade and business hub, linking all parts of the world.

Al Zeyoudi also emphasised that the UAE continues to support the multilateral international trading system, which is overseen by WTO, as a driver of sustainable global economic development and a catalyst for growth that is helping to improve the lives of people around the world.

Underway until 29 February, the conference features a number of events, programmes and sessions and aims to enhance the effectiveness of trade policies. The Ministerial Conference represents the foremost decision making body of the WTO, the international organisation responsible for regulating and facilitating global trade. The WTO is the world’s largest economic organisation, with 164 member states representing over 98 per cent of global trade.

MC13 brings together trade ministers and senior officials from around the world to review, negotiate and update the trade agreements and fundamental principles that constitute the global trading system. Over the course of the event, attendees will discuss the future of global trade, exchange ideas on solutions to tackle international trade-related challenges, and explore ways to enhance economic development.

Hosted in Abu Dhabi, MC13 provides an opportunity for decision makers from around the world to come together and advance progress on key issues. As hosts of the conference, the UAE has been working to bring delegations together to ensure all voices are heard and to create the optimum conditions for constructive engagement and consensus building.

One of the highlights of the MC13 opening ceremony was the formal accession of Comoros and Timor-Leste to the World Trade Organization, the first two new members to join the organisation since 2015. For both countries, membership of the WTO will unlock full participation in the international trading system, accelerate their economic growth and create further opportunities for international investment.

MC13 features a full schedule of meetings and negotiating sessions for delegates, with the aim of strengthening the global trading system and charting a clear path for the WTO’s future work. The event also features a programme of side events. All information for attendees, delegates, media and the public can be found on the UAE Ministry of Economy’s MC13 website: www.wtomc13abudhabi.com