GENEVA: Minister Diggs Addresses 62nd Series of Assemblies of the WIPO, Outlines Liberia’s Post WTO Accession Progress.
Geneva, October 5, 2021: The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Hon Mawine G. Diggs has addressed the World Trade Organization high-level panel chaired by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Director-General) and the 62nd assemblies of Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva respectively. The Minister gave the State of Play and reflection on the five years of Liberia’s WTO membership including recent economic Developments and performance since our accession as a member of the World Trade Organization and recommitted Liberia’s to the global effort for the protection and promotion of Intellectual Property.
Addressing the Launch Study of Liberia’s Five years of WTO membership, Minister Diggs disclosed that Liberia’s path to the WTO membership was not an easy road before becoming a model for others. She, however, pointed out that 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.
The Hon. Minister of commerce further gave some practical actions being taken by the Republic of Liberia under the leadership of H.E George Manneh Weah. According to the Honorable Minister, the practical actions include: the single window endeavor at the Freeport of Monrovia undertaking large-scale accession commitments and implementing the WTO Post-Accession Implementation Plan aimed at continuing with the reforms and transformation in critical areas such as tariff regulation, trade facilitation, taxation, Technical Barriers to Trade and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, economic diversification and many others. Madam Minister reaffirmed Liberia’s commitment to the World Trade Organization and the multilateral trade system.
For her Part, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala congratulated Liberia for the milestone achievement and extended greetings to H.E President George M. Weah and the government of Liberia for the ratification the trade facilitation agreement (TFA). Madam Okonjo-Iweale asserted that the Liberian model is which was first of its kind, is history and sets a ‘’new standard for LDC accession. She however, re-affirmed WTO’s s upport to Liberia through all necessary assistance as much as possible.
Speaking at the WIPO Assembly, Madam Diggs said Liberia has made significant strides 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. She told the body that Liberia is a member and signatory of several international IP conventions which speaks to the country’s commitment to the protection of Intellectual property worldwide through a collective global effort.
On the margin of the multilateral engagements, The Minister held bilateral talks with Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peter Sziijarto where discussion centered around enhancing corporation through trade between the two countries in the areas of Information Technology, energy and water.
As head of the delegation, Minister Diggs is accompanied by Charge’ d’ Affaires (en pied), Liberia Permanent Mission to the United Nation Office and Multiple International Organizations, Mr. Paul W. Tate, Aderline Cooper, Director- General Liberia Intellectual Property, Minister Counselor/Public Affairs to the European Union, Senve D. Tehmeh, Abraham Kamara, Second Secretary, Liberia Permanent Mission to Geneva and Madam Esther Tolbert Chief of Staff (Office of the Minister of the Commerce).