Ask Nigeria Header Logo

Nigeria up for new trade talks at WTO’s MC13

Photo of author

By Usman Oladimeji

Agenda for the MC13 covers discussions on trade policy inclusivity.

Under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu’s administration, Nigeria is more dedicated to promoting global trade, collaboration, and inclusivity. The country aims to be a significant player in shaping the beneficial results of the World Trade Organisation’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) set for February 26 – 29, 2024 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, who made this known prior to the commencement of the conference, expressed Nigeria’s readiness to participate in global discussions and negotiations during the MC13.

Trade ministers and delegates from all over the globe will be present at the WTO conference to discuss updates on trade policies. The focus will be on evaluating the effectiveness of the multilateral trading system (MTS) and setting the agenda for the organization’s future operation. The Ministerial Conference (MC) of the WTO serves as a platform for the 164-member governments to collectively make decisions regarding the rules governing global trade. Also, the Ministerial Conference stands as the apex authority of the WTO, as mandated by the Marrakesh Agreement to convene once every two years.

This year’s conference is a chance to engage in SDT trade talks.

The minister emphasized the significance of this year’s conference for Nigeria, noting it as a key chance to engage in talks on topics such as Special and Differential Treatment (SDT) in trade agreements. Plans for the ministerial conference covers discussions on trade policy inclusivity and environmental issues. Dr. Uzoka-Anite said Nigeria is committed to engaging in productive dialogues that will shape the trajectory of worldwide commerce. She highlighted Nigeria’s involvement at the MC13 as a key opportunity to drive tangible advancements in the WTO’s talks on agricultural trade reforms, advocating for a focus on food security and livelihood considerations.

She urged for persistent assessment of agricultural trading regulations to promote fair rules that support food security. She said it is crucial to create policies that allow for increased production and productivity, while also safeguarding the livelihoods of those in developing nations. Additionally, the Minister stressed the need to diversify and stabilize the global food supply by reducing unfair trade subsidies. Given this, the MC13 work programme is essential for progressing towards the approval of crucial food security tools like Public Stockholding for Food Security Purposes (PSH) and the Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) for Developing Countries.

Key focus for Nigeria is reaching a resolution on fisheries subsidies.

According to her, there is a need for promoting discussions on how to tackle trade-distorting domestic support in order to ensure fair competition. When it comes to digital trade, the Minister emphasized the importance of approaching e-commerce work programs and moratoriums with a focus on development. With this, Nigeria will be able to explore suitable policy tools available in the WTO toolkit to support the growth of e-commerce environments in developing nations. Regarding the moratorium, she said Nigeria proposed addressing concerns about its extent and definition after MC13 to provide clarity to members on their commitments.

Furthermore, the Minister expressed Nigeria’s support for temporarily extending the moratorium on Customs Duties for Electronic Transmissions. Another key focus for Nigeria at MC13 is reaching a peaceful resolution on issues surrounding fisheries subsidies. Nigeria has expressed its support for the WTO Fisheries Funding Mechanism, urging that it be more easily accessible for developing nations to invest in their fisheries management systems. Furthermore, Nigeria suggests that artisanal and small-scale fishing be exempt from the discipline’s regulations.

Related Article: Nigeria trade ministry set foreign trade plan

Dr. Uzoka-Anite believes that Nigeria is aiming for a productive MC13 that will allow developing countries the freedom to promote sustainable industrial growth, economic variety, and structural changes. This can be achieved by adjusting ongoing reforms in the multilateral trading system to prioritize domestic production and increased value of goods. Prior to the commencement of the MC13, Nigeria engaged in thorough discussions with a range of stakeholders such as WTO members, government bodies, business leaders, and NGOs. Through this teamwork, the country is striving to align its stances with a variety of viewpoints and support the overall objectives of the WTO, she added.

Related Link

Wikipedia: Website

The content on is given for general information only and does not constitute a professional opinion, and users should seek their own legal/professional advice. There is data available online that lists details, facts and further information not listed in this post, please complete your own investigation into these matters and reach your own conclusion. accepts no responsibility for losses from any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of content contained in this website and/or other websites which may be linked to this website.

Fact Checking Tool -