Over the coming weekend, the newly appointed Minister of Trade and Industry, Ebrahim Patel, will represent South Africa at two key international meetings. Namely the G20 Joint Trade and Digital Economy Ministers meeting, as well as the G20 Trade Ministers meeting.

According to SA News, the meetings will be a two-day events held from the 8th to 9th June in Tsukuba, Japan. The meetings are to determine the future direction of international trade from the countries involved.

“The trade ministers meeting has the potential for constructive dialogue with our international partners to avoid a destructive trade war that could limit growth and creation of jobs in South Africa. A significant part of the country’s GDP performance is driven by trade,” explained Patel.

The publication adds that the ministers meeting will focus on the current international trade developments, the creation of enabling business environments to grow investments that contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth, and developments in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Furthermore the Minister said that South Africa is concerned that the WTO is facing an existential crisis, as the Appellate Body is likely to be dysfunctional by December 2019 if the current impasse in the appointments of members to the WTO is not expeditiously resolved.

“A functional dispute settlement mechanism is a cornerstone of the multilateral trading system and essential to the functioning of the WTO. Therefore there is a need for constructive discussions by all the members of the WTO as an immediate priority to resolve the impasse,” he added.

[Source – SA News] [Image – CC 0 Pixabay]