Commerce minister praises World Trade deal

The minister of commerce is praising the Bali accord as a cost-saving measure that will promote international trade.

The minster, Anabel González, represented Costa Rica at the World Trade Organization in Indonesia where the pact was approved. She had spoken in favor of the agreement earlier in the week.

“We are very pleased by the agreement reached in the ministerial conference in Bali, in particular the accord over the facilitation of commerce because it will speed up such exchanges, reduce costs and improve the competitivity and the climate of business in the country,” said the minster.

The so-called Bali Pact is the first agreement that the world body has approved since the organization was founded in 1995.

Roberto Azevedo, World Trade Organization director-general, actually shed tears during the summit’s closing ceremony Saturday, saying, “for the first time in history, the WTO has finally delivered.”

The centerpiece of the agreement eases barriers to trade by simplifying customs procedures and making them more transparent. The deal still must be approved by all 159 member governments.

The four days of talks had been threatened when Cuba said it would not accept a deal that would not help end the U.S. embargo of the Communist nation. Cuba later dropped its threat of a veto.

Analysts estimate that the deal will add $1 trillion to the world economy and say it preserved the future of the World Trade Organization.

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