The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Madam Mawine G. Diggs, speaking at the High-Level Panel of the World Trade Organization, in Geneval, Switzerland, has recommitted Liberia to global efforts geared toward the protection and promotion of Intellectual Property as well as reaffirming the country’s commitment to the World Trade Organization and multilateral trade system.
She also re-affirmed Liberia’s commitment to the World Trade Organization and multilateral trade system.
According to a press release issued by Jacob NB Parley, Director of Communications at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the occasion which was chaired by the Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) also coincided with the 62nd Assemblies of Member Minister States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Minister Diggs gave the State of Play and reflection on Liberia’s five-year membership with the World Trade Organization (WTO), including recent economic developments and performance since her country’s accession.
Addressing the Launch Study of Liberia’s Five years of WTO membership, she disclosed that Liberia’s path to WTO membership was not an easy road before becoming a model for others.
She spoke about significant strides made by Liberia through the development of a balanced and effective structure that enables innovation and creativity for patents, copyrights, and trademarks, where people earn recognition for what they invent or create.
The Minister who was at the head of the official delegation told the body that Liberia is a member and signatory to several international IP conventions which speaks to the country’s commitment to the protection of Intellectual property on the global scene through collective efforts.
“Bearing in mind the potential benefits of WTO membership, including increased investment inflows, the Government saw a huge potential to integrate the multilateral trade system, and to return Liberia to the position it once had as a country,” Minister Diggs pointed out.
She highlighted practical actions being taken by Liberia under the leadership of President George Manneh Weah, notable among which are the single window endeavor at the Freeport of Monrovia undertaking large-scale accession commitments and implementing the WTO Post-Accession Implementation Plan.
Minister Diggs added that the plan is aimed at continuing with the reforms and transformation in critical areas, such as tariff regulation, trade facilitation, taxation, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, economic diversification and many others.
For her Part, the Director General of the World Trade Organization, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, lauded Liberia for the milestone achievements and particularly hailed President George M. Weah and the Liberian Government for the ratification of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
“The Liberian model is the first of its kind in history and sets a “new standard for LDC accession,” Madam Okonjo-Iweala indicated. She reaffirmed WTO’s support to Liberia through all necessary assistance.
At the same time on the margins of the multilateral engagements, Minister Diggs held bilateral talks with Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peter Sziijarto.The discussions focused on enhancing coorporation through trade between the two countries in the areas of Information Technsology, energy and water.
Minister Diggs was accompanied by the Charge’d’ Affaires (en pied), Liberia Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office and Multiple International Organizations, Mr. Paul W. Tate, the Director General of Liberia’s Intellectual Porperty Office (LIPO), Atty. Aderline Cooper, Minister Counselor/Public Affairs to the European Union, Senve D. Tehmeh, the Second Secretary, Liberia Permanent Mission to Geneva, Abraham Kamara, and Madam Esther Tolbert, Chief of Staff, Office of the Minister of the Commerce and Industry of Liberia.