Ambassador Cleopa Mailu elected WTO Committee on Regional Trade Agreements chair

Kenya’s PR to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland, Ambassador Cleopa Mailu receives WTO committee on regional agreements chairship from Ambassador Mārtiņš Kreitus of Latvia on March 22, 2021/ WTO

Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland, Ambassador Cleopa Mailu has been elected chair of WTO Committee on Regional Trade Agreements.

WTO members elected Ambassador Mailu through acclamation on Monday, March 22, during the 99th Session of the CRTA.He succeeds Ambassador Mārtiņš Kreitus of Latvia and will serve for a one-year term.

This places Mailu at the centre of multilateral trade agreements making as the committee considers individual regional agreements and discusses implications of the trade deals.

The committee is also charged with implementing the Transparency Mechanism for regional trade agreements.

The Committee reports annually to the General Council on its activities.

Regional trade agreements (RTAs) have risen in number and reach over the years, including a notable increase in large plurilateral agreements under negotiation. For instance, in November last year, WTO members considered six regional trade agreements involving countries and trading blocs from across the world at a meeting of the Committee on RTAs.

They included the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Cameroon, the EU and SADC states of Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa, comprehensive EPA between India and Korea, Free Trade Agreement between European Free Trade Association and the Philippines, free trade deal between Australia and Hong Kong, China and comprehensive EPA between Chile and Indonesia.

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