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Regional Consultations on Harnessing Trade for Sustainable Development with Focus on Asia-Pacific Least Developed Countries, began on 2 December at the headquarters of the United Nations Economic and social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok. The event is held in the context of preparations for the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (WTO MC12), which will be held on 8-10 June 2020 in Nur-Sultan. At the invitation of the ESCAP Secretariat, the delegation of the Republic of Kazakhstan, consisting of representatives of the Ministry of Trade and Integration as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, participates in the consultations. During the opening session of the event, the Kazakh delegation acquainted the participants with the current state of preparation for the WTO MC12. In her welcoming address, Deputy Director of the Department of Foreign Trade Ms. G.Smagul noted the relevance of the upcoming Conference in Kazakhstan for all WTO member States, including developing and least developed countries that are members of the Organization. The WTO MC12 is expected to provide a platform for identifying the current dynamics of negotiations and possible innovative proposals for reforming the global trade regime in the context of the objective of accelerating progress towards the sustainable development Goals. Despite the existing problematic issues in the WTO, Kazakhstan, as host of the MC12 is confident that many of them can be solved within the framework of the upcoming Conference due to the flexibility of participants and improve the system as a whole.
In addition to reviewing the preparations for WTO MC12 at the Bangkok meeting, the ESCAP Secretariat organized a capacity-building session on the application of new tools to facilitate decision-making on trade policy options.
Representatives of government agencies, international organizations, civil society and business in the Asia-Pacific region also participate in the Consultations. The event will continue until December 5.