His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, led a UAE delegation to the World Trade Organisation’s Public Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, which is being held under the theme “It’s Time for Action”. This year’s forum is exploring how the WTO, and the wider trading community, can help create a greener and more sustainable future through inclusive trade policies powered by advanced technology.
On the first morning of the event, His Excellency Dr Thani participated in a session titled Conversation on the Trade, Global Economy and Climate Change Nexus, which was organized by the UAE as part of its preparations to host the WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) in Abu Dhabi in February next year. The discussion centred on the trends shaping global trade, its contribution to climate action and how MC13 can ensure it delivers positive outcomes for the planet. His Excellency took the stage alongside Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of WTO; Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the International Trade Council; and Pedro Manuel Moreno, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
His Excellency Dr Thani used the occasion to restate the UAE’s commitment to working with global partners to oversee the development of technology-driven smart supply chains that increase efficiency and reduce energy consumption. “From accelerating the use of electrical vehicles and transportation powered by alternative fuel sources to improving the efficiency of logistics and point-of-entry processes, trade has a substantial role to play in the climate-change equation. The UAE is determined to take a leading role in these conversations, as evidenced by our partnership with the World Economic Forum on TradeTech Initiative, which is seeking to fast-track the integration of advanced technology into the global trading system.
“As we build towards MC13 in Abu Dhabi in February 2024, and in light of the first ever Trade Day at COP28 in Dubai in November, we must work in unison to envision greener, smarter supply chains – and expend all our efforts to adopt them,” he added.
During the Forum, HE Dr Thani was able to meet permanent representatives to the WTO from a number of member nations. His Excellency used the discussions to share updates on the preparations for MC13 and to align on key policy objectives, including measures to enhance the inclusivity and efficiency of supply chains.
His Excellency then attended the launch of The World Trade Report 2023, the WTO’s flagship publication that presents a comprehensive, data-driven analysis of the issues impacting trade. This year’s report has a focus on “re-globalization” and its role in delivering a resilient, inclusive and sustainable future – which aligns with the UAE’s advocacy for open, rules-based trade as a driver of economic development.
The Ministry of Economy has also organized four policy labs that will take place across the four days of the Public Forum. Designed to gather expert insights on the trends shaping global trade, the labs will hear from sector specialists and practitioners, as well as select audience members from the trading community, who will assess the implications of each trend and its potential impact on the global trade ecosystem.
Accompanying His Excellency Dr Thani in the UAE delegation were HE Juma Alkait, Assistant Undersecretary for International Trade Affairs in the Ministry of Economy; HE Mohammed Allkamali, Deputy CEO of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism; HE Rashed Alblooshi, Undersecretary in the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development; HE Ahmad Saeed Bin Meshar Almhairi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Legislation Committee; Dr Ahmad Aljaghbeer, Senior Legal Advisor of the Supreme Legislation Committee; Jonpaul Simpson, Director of Logistics at the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development; HE Rashed Lahej Almansoori, Director-General of the General Administration of Customs in Abu Dhabi; HE Dr Ali Husain Makki, Executive Director of the Logistics and Trade Facilitation Sector; and Ahmed Alhammadi, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.