WTO / TRADE COVID-19 DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

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23-Mar-2021 00:06:57
At a high-level session, heads of the WTO, WHO, OECD, IMF, World Bank and UNCTAD discussed the multilateral trade system's role in ensuring the availability of essential medical goods needed to control the spread of the virus; the higher impact felt in least-developed countries, the uneven recovery in trade since the pandemic hit, and further adaptation needed as the economy gathers momentum. WTO

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STORY: WTO / TRADE COVID-19 DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
TRT: 6:57
SOURCE: WTO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 23 MARCH 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1.Wide shot, zoom in, WTO headquarters exterior
2.Med shot, zoom in, WTO logo at entrance.
3.Wide shot, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director-General, gets ready for the high-level session of the Aid for Trade Stocktaking event.
4.Med shot, screen with participants from partner agencies and moderator
5.Wide shot, Dr Ngozi during session.
6.SOUDNBITE (English) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director-General:
“The pandemic provoked the steepest fall in global trade that we have on record. In the second quarter of 2020, the value of global merchandise trade fell by 21 per cent compared to the year before. Goods trade subsequently rebounded, though not to pre-crisis levels. Services trade has fared less well, weighed down by travel and tourism, which in the third quarter were still more than two-thirds below pre-pandemic levels.”
7.Various shots, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director-General, gets ready for the high-level session of the Aid for Trade Stocktaking event.
8.SOUDNBITE (English) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director-General:
“The crisis is exacerbating inequalities of all kinds, from gender roles within households and societies, to the economic resilience of countries. Least developed countries were hit hardest by the fall in trade, and have benefitted least from the rebound.”
9. Various shots, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director-General, gets ready for the high-level session of the Aid for Trade Stocktaking event.
10.SOUDNBITE (English) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director-General:
“Our challenge, this week and in the years ahead, is to make sure this does not happen. The post-COVID recovery must not leave anyone, or any country, behind. The first step towards this goal must be a rapid, global vaccine roll-out that ends the pandemic. This must include global scale up of manufacturing including in emerging markets and low-income countries, with access to technology and know-how, while we work out intellectual property rights and the necessary flexibilities that incentivize research and development. Such an approach would be the best global stimulus that money can buy.”
11. Various shots, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director-General, gets ready for the high-level session of the Aid for Trade Stocktaking event.
12. SOUDNBITE (English) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director-General:
“But vaccines alone will not prevent the divergence that Kristalina talked about. Keeping global markets open is essential for a strong and sustained recovery. Delivering results at the WTO this year, including at MC12, would provide greater certainty and predictability for trade. Aid for trade will remain essential. Trade finance must not be allowed to dry up.”
13. Multiscreen
14. SOUDNBITE (English) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization:
“Cases are increasing in most regions. These are worrying trends as we continue to see the impact of variants, opening up of societies, and inequitable vaccine rollout. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have known that vaccines would be a vital tool for controlling it. But we also knew from experience that market forces alone would not deliver the equitable distribution of vaccines.”
15. Multiscreen
16.SOUDNBITE (English) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization:
“The success of COVAX is at risk because of the demands that some high- and upper-middle income countries are putting on the global supply of vaccines. This is not just a moral outrage, it’s also economically and epidemiologically self-defeating. The more transmission, the more variants. And the more variants that emerge, the more likely it is that they will evade vaccines. We could all end up back at square one. And as long as the virus continues to circulate anywhere, people will continue to die, trade and travel will continue to be disrupted, and the economic recovery will be further delayed. Vaccine equity is not an act of charity; it’s the best and fastest way to control the pandemic globally, and to reboot the global economy.”
17. Multiscreen
18.SOUDNBITE (English) Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund:
“This prospects for recovery are both uncertain, and we heard about the new waves and most importantly, uneven, and as Ngozi quoted me, I do fear of a great divergence following last year's great lock down. Divergence within countries between those that are doing really well and those that are falling behind and also divergence across countries.”
19. Multiscreen
20. SOUDNBITE (English) Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund:
“We are going to be all much better off if we leverage trade to drive growth, to secure a durable exit from the economic crisis. Countries should maintain support to households and firms to avoid economic scars like long term unemployment or a fractured supply chain. So we stick to that message. And we also want to stress that as the recovery takes hold, our governments are bound to lay the foundation for growth anchored in medium term fiscal sustainability, and stating it because for quite some time you would hear me saying, spend, keep the receipts, but spend. Well, I'm now saying you cannot withdraw the support, but think about what next and how to reduce costs in the future.”
21. Multiscreen
22. SOUDNBITE (English) David Malpass, President, World Bank Group:
“Trade between villages, trade between cities, trade across borders and trade in the global marketplace: this is the path for countries to be able to develop and for people to be able to innovate and come up with new jobs, new ideas. And so a core part of that is to have the transparent and predictable rules. And this is where WTO has been so vital in finding pathways for countries to work together.”
23. Med shot, pan right, Dr Ngozi during session


STORYLINE:

At a high-level session, on 23 March 2021, heads of the WTO, WHO, OECD, IMF, World Bank and UNCTAD discussed the multilateral trade system's role in ensuring the availability of essential medical goods needed to control the spread of the virus; the higher impact felt in least-developed countries, the uneven recovery in trade since the pandemic hit, and further adaptation needed as the economy gathers momentum.


The Aid-for-Trade Stocktaking Event aimed to survey the trade impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and make the case for the mobilization of Aid-for-Trade financing to support recovery and foster resilience.

It was e an occasion to discuss developing and least developed countries' trade needs arising from the pandemic and seek to mobilize financing for a continued, sustained response that supports recovery and resilience. The event kicked off today and goes until 25 March.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, WTO Director-General said, “the pandemic provoked the steepest fall in global trade that we have on record. In the second quarter of 2020, the value of global merchandise trade fell by 21 per cent compared to the year before. Goods trade subsequently rebounded, though not to pre-crisis levels. Services trade has fared less well, weighed down by travel and tourism, which in the third quarter were still more than two-thirds below pre-pandemic levels.”

She also said, “the crisis is exacerbating inequalities of all kinds, from gender roles within households and societies, to the economic resilience of countries. Least developed countries were hit hardest by the fall in trade, and have benefitted least from the rebound.”

WTO’s Director-General stated, “our challenge, this week and in the years ahead, is to make sure this does not happen. The post-COVID recovery must not leave anyone, or any country, behind. The first step towards this goal must be a rapid, global vaccine roll-out that ends the pandemic. This must include global scale up of manufacturing including in emerging markets and low-income countries, with access to technology and know-how, while we work out intellectual property rights and the necessary flexibilities that incentivize research and development. Such an approach would be the best global stimulus that money can buy.”

Okonjo-Iweala also said, “but vaccines alone will not prevent the divergence that Kristalina talked about. Keeping global markets open is essential for a strong and sustained recovery. Delivering results at the WTO this year, including at MC12, would provide greater certainty and predictability for trade. Aid for trade will remain essential. Trade finance must not be allowed to dry up.”

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of World Health Organization also spoke.

He said, “cases are increasing in most regions. These are worrying trends as we continue to see the impact of variants, opening up of societies, and inequitable vaccine rollout. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have known that vaccines would be a vital tool for controlling it. But we also knew from experience that market forces alone would not deliver the equitable distribution of vaccines.”

Tedros also said, “the success of COVAX is at risk because of the demands that some high- and upper-middle income countries are putting on the global supply of vaccines. This is not just a moral outrage, it’s also economically and epidemiologically self-defeating. The more transmission, the more variants. And the more variants that emerge, the more likely it is that they will evade vaccines. We could all end up back at square one.”

He continued, “and as long as the virus continues to circulate anywhere, people will continue to die, trade and travel will continue to be disrupted, and the economic recovery will be further delayed. Vaccine equity is not an act of charity; it’s the best and fastest way to control the pandemic globally, and to reboot the global economy.”

Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of International Monetary Fund said, “this prospects for recovery are both uncertain, and we heard about the new waves and most importantly, uneven, and as Ngozi quoted me, I do fear of a great divergence following last year's great lock down. Divergence within countries between those that are doing really well and those that are falling behind and also divergence across countries.”

She also said, “we are going to be all much better off if we leverage trade to drive growth, to secure a durable exit from the economic crisis. Countries should maintain support to households and firms to avoid economic scars like long term unemployment or a fractured supply chain. So we stick to that message.”

Georgieva added, “we also want to stress that as the recovery takes hold, our governments are bound to lay the foundation for growth anchored in medium term fiscal sustainability, and stating it because for quite some time you would hear me saying, spend, keep the receipts, but spend. Well, I'm now saying you cannot withdraw the support, but think about what next and how to reduce costs in the future.”

David Malpass, President of World Bank Group stated, “trade between villages, trade between cities, trade across borders and trade in the global marketplace: this is the path for countries to be able to develop and for people to be able to innovate and come up with new jobs, new ideas. And so a core part of that is to have the transparent and predictable rules. And this is where WTO has been so vital in finding pathways for countries to work together.”

The event runs for three days and groups about 35 other sessions organized by institutions, WTO members and non-governmental organizations.
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