Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis leads EU delegation at 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization in Abu Dhabi

Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski and Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius are headed to the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), taking place in Abu Dhabi from 26-29 February. The Ministerial of the 164-member WTO aims to achieve important outcomes on WTO reform, fisheries subsidies, trade and agriculture, digital trade, and sustainability.

The Ministerial Conference comes at a time of increasing weaponisation of global trade and erosion of global trade rules. In this context, there is an ever-growing need for a strong and reinvigorated WTO, as the cornerstone of global rules-based trade. The EU is determined to champion the continued reform of the WTO to keep it fit to tackle the challenges of today.

Engagement on global trade issues begins already on Sunday 25 February, when the Coalition of Trade Ministers on Climate will convene to discuss how trade policy can help further drive global climate action. The same day, the EU will host an event with like-minded partners to mark our solidarity with Ukraine, two years on from the start of Russia’s unlawful military aggression. Russia’s invasion is not only a blatant violation of international law, Russia’s blockade and bombardments of Ukrainian grain ports also puts global trade and food security for the most vulnerable at risk. The event will therefore be an opportunity to demonstrate appreciation for Ukraine’s successful efforts to provide freedom of navigation for shipping through the Black Sea, delivering a global public good for food trade, especially for crucial supplies to Africa and the Middle East.

EU Trade Ministers will also meet at an informal Trade Council to discuss priorities for MC13.