Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen opened the fifth China Round Table (CRT-5) on World Trade Organization (WTO) Accessions here on Monday, aiming at sharing best practices for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in preparing for the WTO accessions.
Attended by high-level delegations of China, LDCs, and WTO, the three-day conference was to share lessons learnt and to assist acceding LDCs to better prepare for their accessions to the WTO.
The decision of the WTO accessions will be made by the 11th WTO's Ministerial Conference (MC11), to be held on Dec. 11-14 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Hun Sen said Cambodia has been playing a very important role in pushing WTO members to provide duty-free-quota-free (DFQF), preferential rules of origins, preferences for services, as well as more assistance to LDCs.
"The current obligation for us all, as LDCs, is to do whatever it takes to achieve successful negotiations in the MC11," he said.
The prime minister also called LDC representatives in the CRT-5 to actively engage in completely resolve issues pertaining to local agricultural supports, public stockholding for food security purposes, fishery subsidies, trade and environment, and special and differential treatment for LDCs before the MC11 in Argentina.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the CRT-5, Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen said China was proud to see that the Round Table has served as a useful platform to share development experiences and best practices.
"As WTO members, we must continue to reiterate our strong commitments to the multilateral trading system," he said, adding that China is committed to safeguarding a multilateral trading system since it is open, transparent, inclusive and beneficial to all.
WTO's Deputy Director General David Shark said the CRT-5 will provide concrete contribution to support WTO accessions through policy dialogue and sharing experiences on accession and post-accession.
"I am hopeful that they will listen to the exchange of experiences and share their menu of possible support and assistance to respond to the specific accession needs of the acceding governments, as well as the post-accession needs of those recently acceded LDCs," he said.
The CRT-5 was initiated by the Chinese government in consultation with the WTO Secretariat and the Cambodian government, the chair of the coordinating group of the LDCs at the WTO.
The annual round table has been held following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Chinese government and the WTO in July 2011.
Under the MoU, China sponsors the meetings which are designed to build capacity and technical skills in trade policy, including on accession negotiations, for least-developed and developing countries.