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Deputy Minister Pavlov participates in the informal meeting of the Foreign Affairs Trade Council in Brussels

Deputy Minister Pavlov participates in the informal meeting of the Foreign Affairs Trade Council in Brussels

Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry Nikolay Pavlov took part in the informal meeting of the Foreign Affairs Trade Council, held in Brussels.

The main topic of the Council’s work was the preparation of the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization, which will be held from 25 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Deputy Minister Pavlov with the Secretary General for Foreign Economic Relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece Maira Myrogianni
Deputy Minister Pavlov with the Secretary General for Foreign Economic Relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece Maira Myrogianni

Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry Nikolay Pavlov took part in the informal meeting of the Foreign Affairs Trade Council, held in Brussels.

The main topic of the Council’s work was the preparation of the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization, which will be held from 25 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

During the meeting, Deputy Minister Pavlov identified the reform of the dispute settlement system as a top priority. He stressed the need to preserve what has been achieved so far and to continue building on it until a fully functioning two-instance system is restored. Until then, it will be important to encourage the use of alternative forms of appeal against WTO dispute decisions, it became clear from the words of Deputy Minister Pavlov. He also pointed out that it would be important for Bulgaria to adopt a decision on the continuation of the moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions in order to avoid unnecessary restrictions on e-commerce. Pavlov noted that our country supports the launch of a structured discussion on industrial subsidies, as well as making progress on agriculture and in the negotiations on the fisheries subsidies agreement. He also commented that the formation of coalitions and the involvement of all parties are key to the success of the conference.

Deputy Minister Pavlov noted that key to building open strategic autonomy of the EU will be the implementation of digital transformation; reducing the EU’s strategic dependence in critical sectors; promoting investments for green transition and diversification of supply chains. He pointed out that trade policy can contribute to a more competitive, prosperous and sustainable EU by seeking opportunities to realise the full potential of EU trade agreements. Pavlov stressed that the EU should focus on expanding strategic partnerships with countries sharing common values in order to build sustainable value chains and promote a rules-based international economic order. The Deputy Economy Minister drew attention to the essential role of SMEs in strengthening the single market and accelerating the green and digital transition.

The issues commented by Deputy Minister Pavlov were the main topics of the meeting in Brussels. During the meeting, the ministers identified as key priorities the adoption of a roadmap for the negotiations on the reform of the dispute settlement system; the structuring of a work programme for discussion on industrial subsidies; reaching a compromise in the negotiations on the second phase of the fisheries subsidies agreement; the extension of the moratorium on e-commerce and progress in the negotiations on agriculture. It was assessed that the outcome of the conference was unpredictable, given the many obvious challenges and the widely differing positions of the key players.

The ministers also discussed the trade aspects of the strategy to build open strategic autonomy for the EU. They agreed on the need to use the full range of available trade instruments to achieve sustainability and economic security in the single market.

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