On 15 November 2021, the Ambassador of Latvia to the United Nations in Geneva, Bahtijors Hasans, presented his credentials to the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. In their conversation, the Ambassador discussed latest developments in preparations for the Twelfth WTO Ministerial Conference due to begin on 30 November in Geneva, Switzerland.

Bahtijors Hasans reaffirmed Latvia’s support for the multilateral trade system with the WTO at its core. The Ambassador highlighted Latvia’s special interests in the issue of tax exemption on fuel in fisheries and the need to establish a special working group on the future of the WTO. The Ambassador underlined that Latvia was prepared to support the WTO’s enlargement, especially giving thought to the accession of Uzbekistan.

Background information

The World Trade Organisation is an international organisation and a forum for multilateral negotiations between its member states on global trade rules, their administration and application. The WTO system is a set of foreign trade norms, or “traffic rules” for foreign trade, which is binding on all member states of the organisation. The primary purpose of the WTO is free and facilitated trade based on rules and principles that create a level playing field while taking into account the possibilities of the developing countries.  

The WTO currently has 164 members. Latvia has been a member of the WTO on 10 February 1999.