WTO, ADB strengthen collaboration for sustainable economic growth

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The WTO Secretariat and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 1 May aimed at bolstering collaborative efforts to drive inclusive and sustainable development through trade and economic integration, including in Asia and the Pacific region. The MoU was signed ahead of ADB’s Annual Meeting to be held on 2-5 May.

The MoU, signed by WTO Deputy Director-General Jean-Marie Paugam and ADB Vice-President (Sectors and Themes) Fatima Yasmin, marks the deepening of a strategic partnership focused on regional cooperation, trade and economic integration, and the trade and environment agenda in support of the two organizations’ respective membership and observers.

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At the heart of the collaboration is a shared commitment to advancing environmental sustainability, inclusive growth and resilience in the face of evolving global challenges. As part of the agreement, the WTO and ADB identified key areas of cooperation, such as the exchange of information including ongoing studies, joint events, dialogue with stakeholders, capacity building, joint publications, and sharing of best practices.

“I am delighted to mark this significant milestone in our collaboration with ADB, which has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to addressing the nexus of trade and climate change, as underscored by ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa’s remarks to Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala during the UN COP28 climate conference last November. Trade, combined with the investment power of ADB, holds immense potential to propel economies and regions toward achieving their net-zero ambitions. As we embark on this next phase of cooperation, we look forward to advancing joint initiatives aimed at promoting trade and environmental sustainability,” DDG Paugam said in remarks released for the occasion.

The WTO is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The goal is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible with a view to raising standards of living in accordance with the objective of sustainable development.

ADB is a multilateral development bank with a vision of Asia and the Pacific region free of poverty and a mission to help its developing members reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of their people. As a climate bank for the region, ADB is scaling up initiatives to mainstream trade and trade policy solutions in its operations.

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