19 March 2021

Business calls for increased engagement between the WTO and the Business Community.

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) and business associations, representing 14 countries on six continents, congratulates to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her appointment as Director General of World Trade Organization (WTO).


As the world considers the path towards recovery from the pandemic, on the 17th of March 2021 the business community jointly wrote a letter to the newly appointed Director General of the World trade Organization (WTO) explaining the paramount role that the WTO plays in the business community and outlined issues that need to be addressed by WTO to better function.


The business community proposed ways in which a more regular and structured dialogue between the WTO and the business community can be achieved. Building upon existing initiatives and establish possible opportunities such as:


  • Establishing an advisory council that would allow business to provide insights to WTO members on matters of importance.


  • Arranging more regular trade dialogues as well as consultations and hearings on specific negotiations.


  • Creating an online platform where stakeholders can register to enhance dialogue and transparency. It could act as a forum for the WTO to share information on ongoing negotiations and allow businesses of all sizes and from all countries, including small and medium-sized businesses, to contribute.


  • Organising business summits on the margins of the WTO Ministerial Conferences to enhance dialogue. 2021-03-17


  • Providing the WTO Secretariat with a mandate to proactively review the organisation’s engagement with the business community and present ideas for improving outreach and communication.


As the business community we place emphasis on the pivotal role trade plays promoting a sustainable economic recovery from the pandemic thus we call upon the newly appointed Director-General and the Secretariat and all the WTO members to increase their efforts to reform the organisation and to engage more closely with the business community.

Cas Coovadia

 CEO of Business Unity South Africa

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