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WTO to conduct China & others trade policy reviews

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, SEPT 09, 2020: FOUR WTO members - Zimbabwe, Thailand, Indonesia and Macao, China - will undergo reviews of their trade policies and practices before the end of the year. The Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB) chair, Ambassador Harald Aspelund of Iceland, announced an updated programme of reviews for the remainder of 2020, which had to be revised due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures implemented around the world.

The Trade Policy Review Body will also undertake before the end of the year the annual overview of developments in the international trading environment on the basis of the report by the Director-General. A TPRB meeting is planned for December 2020.

The communication sent to members on 18th August notes the review of Zimbabwe will be held on 30 September and 2 October; for Thailand, on 24 and 26 November; for Indonesia, on 9 and 11 December; and for Macao, China, on 15 and 17 December.

The WTO Secretariat continued its preparatory work for these reviews in collaboration with the respective delegations using all possible means of communication, including videoconferences. However, for some members due to undergo their reviews in 2020 it was not possible to make these arrangements in an efficient manner, and their reviews were therefore postponed to 2021.

The WTO Secretariat is working on the preparation of the programme of reviews for 2021 in close contact with the relevant delegations. More than 20 members are currently considered on the provisional list of reviews for next year, including those initially scheduled for 2020 and subsequently postponed. These include Argentina, Bahrain, China, India, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Oman, Qatar, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Tonga, the United States, and Viet Nam, as well as the joint reviews of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) - Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Central African Republic and Chad - and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) - Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

A detailed programme with specific dates for 2021 will be announced by the TPRB chair in the coming weeks. In 2021, the TPRB will also meet twice to consider the Director-General's trade monitoring reports.


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