Photo: Velislav Nikolov (EU2018BG)
The prospects of the multilateral trading system and the options for a better functioning of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) were discussed at an informal meeting of the EU ministers responsible for trade. The trade ministers agreed that the EU should play a leading role in the WTO by upholding an open, rule-based multilateral trading system and opposing all attempts to undermine it.
Emil Karanikolov, the Bulgarian Minister of Economy, pointed out:
“Trade policy mainly relates to enhancing the competitiveness of the European economy, which in turn contributes to economic growth and job creation.”
At the informal meeting, the ministers reviewed the current state of the negotiations the EU leads to conclude free trade agreements with Mexico and the Mercosur countries. With regard to bilateral trade agreements, participants voiced hope for positive results as the negotiations enter their important final stage.
During the working lunch, ministers discussed issues related to the creation of a multilateral investment court and the proposal for a regulation on monitoring foreign direct investment in the EU. The meeting also considered the importance of the proposal to create a framework for screening foreign direct investment in the EU and its effect on the security and protection of public order in the Union.
The meeting was chaired by Economy Minister Emil Karanikolov and attended by Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Trade.