MoC holds inter-ministerial meeting on Trade Policy Review preparations

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Union Minister Dr Than Myint chairs the inter-ministerial meeting on Trade Policy Review preparations on 26 January 2021. Photo : MNA

The Ministry of Commerce yesterday organized an inter-ministerial meeting to prepare for the upcoming final report meeting of Myanmar’s second Trade Policy Review.
During the meeting, Union Minister Dr Than Myint said that Myanmar took one-and-half years to prepare for the second round of the Trade Policy Review. Along with the process, two reports — the report of the WTO Secretariat and the report of the Myanmar government — have been prepared, according to the Union Minister. Usually, the final meeting on the process is held in Geneva, Switzerland, where the WTO is located. But it will be held only in virtual format because of the pandemic.
After the final meeting, the report and the results of the second Trade Policy Review must be shared with government departments and relevant organizations, said the Union Minister, who also called on relevant officials to cooperate with the media to publish articles for public outreach.
Deputy Minister U Aung Htoo said that the upcoming meeting is similar to the third-round meeting of the Myanmar Universal Periodic Review (UPR) held on 25 January this year. He called on the officials of the ministry to cooperate with the Permanent Mission of Myanmar in Geneva for the second round of the Trade Policy Review. Permanent Secretary U Min Min discussed matters related to the successful holding of the second round, including matters on cooperation with the WTO Secretariat and necessary preparations.
Myanmar’s second round of the Trade Policy Review will be held on 15 and 17 February this year using the WTO’s Interprefy Platform.
Officials from relevant departments and organizations based in Nay Pyi Taw will participate together in the upcoming meeting from the Kempinski Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw. Other relevant officials will participate in the meeting via online. The WTO’s Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB) Chairperson Iceland Ambassador Mr Harald Aspelund will serve as the chair of the final meeting of Myanmar’s second Trade Policy Review. Finnish ambassador Ms Kirsti Kauppi will serve as a discussant.
WTO member countries are required to conduct a Trade Policy Review, with the least developed member countries having to do so once every seven years. Myanmar’s first Trade Policy Review was conducted in 2014. Although the Myanmar delegation was previously scheduled to visit the WTO headquarters in Geneva in October last year, the planned visit was postponed because of the global COVID-19 pandemic. So, like other member countries, the final report meeting of Myanmar’s second Trade Policy Review will be held in the virtual format on 15 and 17 February.—MNA (Translated by Maung Maung Swe)

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