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  Tuesday, 02 September 2014

Interview to Roberto Azevedo, General Director of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
The director of the World Trade Organization, is pessimistic about growth in world trade
Existing instabilities can compromise the expected growth
Geopolitical uncertainties prevent in an accurate way to say how it will behave world trade in the coming years.
Roberto Azevedo, director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), expressed pessimism about the growth of world trade and attributed to a low potential "geopolitical uncertainties."
"Right now it is very difficult to predict how it will behave world trade in the coming years," Azevedo said in an interview with Cuban media.

"Our initial estimates were for a growth of between 4 and 4.7 percent this year and next to 5.3 percent, which is already close to the historical annual growth over the last 20 years," the official said of Brazilian nationality.

"But with these instabilities is difficult to say," said the head of the WTO which replaced the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

Azevedo warned that "geopolitical uncertainties" could jeopardize the expected growth, especially in Europe with measures which, in his opinion, "can have a significant impact on economic growth of some."
About the role it could play the World Trade Organization to these challenges, he said the organization "is a forum" and can provide a channel for dialogue, but the solution depends on whether the countries involved want to talk.

Azevedo also expressed concern at the slow progress of multilateral stage in the middle of the establishment of blocks and free trade agreements.

According to him, "both ways are complementary. Regional, bilateral are going to exist always, but multilateral way has yet to advance".

He defended his trip to the Caribbean island, which is undergoing a new phase of economic slowdown, because Cuba "is a very important member of the WTO."

Citing the new Foreign Investment Law and the Special Development Zone Mariel, argued that Cuba is looking alternatives on how to participate in investment flows, which are very important.

"There is a need to attract foreign investors and I think that Cuba is now in the process of finding a recipe," he said, according to the version published by Granma and Prensa Latina.

Azevedo said that the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean are very active in the WTO, adding that the region is increasingly on the world stage.

"The integration between the WTO and Latin America will remain strong and it will grow even more," he said.


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