Foreign Affairs Council (Trade): 11th January 2016

The Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise (Anna Soubry)
My noble Friend the Minister of State for Trade and Investment (Lord Maude of Horsham) has today made the following statement.

The EU Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) met twice in Nairobi during the 10th ministerial conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The first meeting of the FAC (Trade) took place on the 15 December before the formal opening of the WTO ministerial. The second meeting of the FAC (Trade) took place on the 19 December just before the conclusion of the ministerial. At both meetings, the Council adopted conclusions. Both sets of conclusions are attached to this statement.

The Nairobi ministerial was the first WTO ministerial conference in Africa. WTO members agreed a series of ministerial decisions on agriculture, on cotton and on development, the latter focussed on the interests of the least developed countries.

The decisions in agriculture are on export competition, on public stockholding, on a special safeguard mechanism for developing countries and on measures related to cotton. Decisions were also made relating to preferential treatment for least developed countries in services and in rules of origin.

The ministerial met UK objectives in agreeing substantive outcomes on export competition in agriculture, on cotton, and on development while leaving the way open for WTO negotiations to proceed more flexibly post-Nairobi. The ministerial also welcomed two countries acceding to the WTO, Afghanistan and Liberia.

Within the EU, the expectation is that Council will confirm its position on the Nairobi package at the next meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council, under the Dutch presidency, on 18 January 2016.

It is also available online at: http://www.parliament. uk/writtenstatements.