The Director General (DG) of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, stated on Wednesday that she considers Morocco an attractive destination for value chain diversification.
In her speech at the Annual Economic Policy Conference of the National Association of Business Economists, Okonjo-Iweala recommended utilizing diversified supply chains, instead of focusing on relocating industries.
“Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) should expand their supply chains to developing countries that support companies having yet to fully benefit from global trade,” stated Okonjo-Iweala, noting that this would help improve the public’s perception of trade globally and lessen the need for countries to use subsidies to encourage relocation.
The Director General (DG) also added that countries such as Morocco, Vietnam, India, Brazil, and Indonesia should be considered attractive additions to international supply chains, recalling that, prior to the global pandemic, businesses started to diversify their supply chains as production in China became more expensive in comparison to countries like Cambodia and Vietnam.
In this regard, Okonjo-Iweala urged countries to avoid protectionism when seeking to increase local production and to consider the benefits of investing in developing countries.
The Nigerian Director General also noted that some 113 World Trade Organization (WTO) members are in the process of working on a programmatic investment facilitation agreement, set for completion by the 13th Ministerial Conference scheduled for February 2024 in Abu Dhabi, stressing that this agreement should pave the way for further investment in developing countries, including in Africa.
Okonjo-Iweala also emphasized that the World Trade Organization (WTO) should shift its focus to trade in services, especially as it is growing rapidly and carries significant implications for climate change efforts, assuring that “the future of trade in services is green and it should be inclusive“.