The 10th ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will take place in Nairobi, Kenya from 15 to 18 December.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta presided over the opening of the conference, a four-day event that will be attended by trade ministers from 161 member countries of the WTO, as well as the new additions of Liberia and Afghanistan, who will both confirm their membership status through attendance at the conference.
Egyptian Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Tarek Qabil headed the Egyptian delegation to the conference. Qabil noted the complex circumstances surrounding the conference as its setting in Nairobi has invited discussion on the relations between various groups of developing countries in Arab and African blocks with the global economy, in the backdrop of the agreements made at Doha 2001.
Negotiations centred on assistance to the least developed countries by removing trade barriers; reducing tariffs and taxes on industrial goods; and increasing equitable exchange by reducing agricultural subsidies and the protection measures implemented by the major industrial countries.
To help ensure these ends, Qabil demanded that the Arab League be granted membership in the WTO as an observer.