Statement by Minister of Trade of Indonesia. H.E. Mrs. Mari Pangestu, at the Working Session II of the 7th WTO Ministerial Meeting – “The WTO’s Contribution to Recovery, Growth and Development”

December 2, 2009 Trade/WTO

Thank you Chair,

Our world now is confronted with the worst financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression. The evolving crisis, which began within the world’s major financial centers, has spread throughout the global economy, causing severe social, political and economic impacts. We are deeply concerned about its adverse impact on development.

The global economic downturn is deeper than many early estimates, and the recovery is predicted to be gradual and varied. This crisis has negatively affected all countries, in which developing countries and least developed countries are the hardest hit. We have limited fiscal space and social safety nets, and we are also facing increased protectionism against our products. With these conditions, all of us face domestic political pressures at home. In light of the ongoing Doha negotiations and the review of WTO’s role, it is therefore pertinent that we exercise leadership and resist inaction to move forward or inappropriate actions which will take us away from open trade and investment as well as the path of domestic reforms.

We fully support a timely response that has been proposed by the Director General Lamy for Members not to resort to protectionism. Credible messages have been repeatedly sent out to the world that protectionism is not the answer to the crisis. We do commend the DG’s central role in bringing our organization to the forefront in dealing with the crisis.

As we all concur that trade is one of the solutions to the crisis, we must stay committed and confident in our undertaking to conclude Doha Development Agenda and to do so as soon as possible. We must translate political will into action and have an effective stock take by early 2010, so we can pave the way for concluding the Round by the end of 2010. To achieve this we shall effectively utilize all processes available to address remaining issues, which include technical work and constructive engagement by our Senior Officials and negotiators in Geneva. This also includes informal, bilateral and plurilateral processes, as long as they are translated into the multilateral process.

In this regard, I also wish to recall my statement in the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference, in which I stated the importance of not forgetting the middle D of the DDA. Yes, the middle D shall and always be put in the heart of our undertakings. The development aspects shall be clearly reflected in the process and the result of negotiations. Let me use this opportunity to once again call upon Members not to keep this out of our sight.

To conclude, let me appeal to my fellow Ministers and Heads of Delegate that we conclude this conference with a clearer sense of how to move forward in light of the current global situation and on where the Doha Round stand.  We should also be able to deliver a decisive support to the WTO’s effort in providing assistance to its Members with regards to enhancing their capacities and integration in the multilateral trading system and in developing policies that complement their development agendas and enhance economic growth.

Thank you.


Geneva, 2 December 2010