Brussels, 12 February 2014
Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with WTO Director-General Azevêdo
President José Manuel Barroso today met Ambassador Roberto Azevêdo, Director General of the World Trade Organization, in Brussels. Following the meeting, President Barroso said:
"We had an open and friendly discussion on trade matters.
The European Union is strongly committed to the multilateral trading system. The European Commission made a very important contribution to the successful WTO ministerial in Bali and I congratulated Ambassador Azevêdo on the decisive role he played in brokering that agreement. We are committed to help him reinvigorate the multilateral trading system. The expansion of trade opportunities remains one of the main sources of global growth. That is why trade is an integral part of the EU's agenda for bolstering economic growth and creating jobs.
The immediate priority for the international trade community should be to fully implement the package agreed in Bali. WTO members have proved they are ready to do business. The Trade Facilitation Agreement needs to be put in place by the end of July this year. A strong effort is also needed to prepare the work programme for completing the negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda.
We also exchanged views on trade issues in the context of the G20, and on the Free Trade Agreements the EU is currently negotiating. Director-General Azevêdo and I are of the same view on the need to fight protectionism and move forward on the global trade agenda."