WTO Director-General praises ITC's work on regional integration during visit to Ethiopia

30 January 2012
ITC News

During a visit to the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange and the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce on 30 January, Pascal Lamy, WTO Director-General, recognised the work of ITC's Programme for building African Capacity for Trade (PACT II) in improving the country's export competitiveness, whilst noting that 'International trade must in the future be measured by how much value is added to a country’.

Mr. Lamy, who was in Ethiopia to discuss WTO accession with the country's Prime Minister, acknowledged the importance of the coffee sector for the country and recognised that collaboration between the government, producers and the private sector had improved over the years, contributing to the projected growth of around 11% in the market for this year, which is particularly good news for those interested in seeing the empowerment of women and youth.

The Director-General noted the good work carried out by ITC’s PACT II programme in increasing regional integration and strengthening the capacities of the regional economic commissions: COMESA, ECCAS and ECOWAS. As an example of this, Mr. Lamy spoke about the knowledge sharing between the more advanced Ethiopian firms operating in the leather sector with their counterparts from the East and Southern African region covered by COMESA.

In terms of Ethiopia’s planned accession to the WTO, Mr. Lamy described how ITC and the WTO have facilitated public private dialogue in Ethiopia to build stakeholder confidence in the efforts of the Government of Ethiopia to accede to the WTO, but added the cautionary advice that all involved must redouble their efforts now that the Government of Ethiopia has demonstrated its strong commitment to completing accession negotiations by 2015.

ITC's PACT II programme is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency.

Lamy ringing the trading bell 

Eleni Z. Gabre-Madhin, Chief Executive Officer of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange explaining whats happening on the trading floor 

Eleni Z. Gabre-Madhin and Pascal Lamy