Saudi Arabia has welcomed the $1 trillion WTO agreement in Bali, saying it would strengthen the competitive position of Saudi products and boost global trade.
“It’s a historic accord,” said Commerce and Industry Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah.
He said the WTO agreement would have a positive impact on Saudi exports.
“It will enable Saudi exporters to supply their goods in targeted markets at shorter time and lesser cost,” he added.
The Bali deal is the first major global agreement since the World Trade Organization was established in 1995. Members had worried that after a dozen years of failed talks, the WTO had turned into nothing more than a court for trade disputes.
The Bali deal covers customs, agriculture and assistance for least developed nations.
However, it pales in comparison to the ambitions of the failed Doha round of trade talks, which sought to break down larger barriers to industrial and farm goods.
Al-Rabiah said the new deal would bolster the competitive position of Saudi products in world markets.
“Saudi Arabia has always been trying to apply modern customs procedures, using advanced technology,” the minister said, adding that it would create more jobs for Saudis.
He said the implementation of the new WTO deal would speed up customs clearance of goods by 20 percent, reducing cost of exports and imports for member countries.
“It will also expand trade exchange between WTO states.”
Al-Rabiah, who led the Kingdom’s delegation to the Bali conference, had presented a proposal to accept Arab League and Palestine as observers.
The conference recently admitted Yemen as the organization’s 160th member.
The Saudi minister also used the venue to meet with his foreign counterparts to discuss prospects of expanding ties.
WTO members have hailed the Bali deal, which by some estimates could add $1 trillion in economic growth worldwide.