BUENOS AIRES, Argentina- Qatar’s Minister of Economy and Commerce, Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed al Thani, pledged Qatar’s full commitment to the rule of law, to protect its rights in compliance with the principles and regulations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

During WTO’s 11th Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, Sheikh Ahmed said, Qatar has always advocated the establishment of a comprehensive and multilateral trading system, as trade is an integral part of the country’s history.

He said, the significant increase in protectionism, which is being endorsed by many countries, is becoming a growing concern. The minister said, several studies show 60 of the biggest economies in the world have endorsed more than 7,000 trade protectionism procedures, since the beginning of the financial crisis, whereas tariffs now are worth more than $400 billion.

Sheikh Ahmed, who also chaired the Qatari delegation to the conference, said, Qatar came to the forefront of countries facing the rising increase of protectionism procedure.

He expressed his concern about the current regional situation in the Gulf, and its trade repercussions, which not only violates Qatar’s rights, but also includes a number of WTO member states, which hold trade relations with the country.

The economy minister pledged that Qatar will remain committed to all its bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, with all its trading partners, regardless of their political views.

He referred to the achievements made by WTO to strengthen development and multilateral trade, especially with the launching of the Doha Development Agenda, which is one of its greatest achievements.

Sheikh Ahmed also referred to Qatar’s full commitment to successfully completing the agenda within the framework of the principles of openness and universality, as advocated by WTO, which allow members to discuss all matters relating to the multilateral trading system.

He said the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of WTO approved Qatar’s request to form a judiciary, to look into its complaint against the UAE and the current dispute caused by the siege.

Sheikh Ahmed highlighted the importance of completing the factors of the Doha Development Agenda, and called on expanding its framework to cover other topics such as small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), e-commerce and facilitating investment.”Including these topics for discussion within the framework of the WTO would help to restore the balance required, to complete the agenda,” he added.