Pretoria, 28 September 2021 (TDI): Cyril Ramaphosa, the President of South Africa addressed the opening of the WTO (World Trade Organization) Public Forum under the title of “Trade beyond COVID-19: Building Resilience” virtually.

This flagship event brings together all the stakeholders to discuss trade-related progress, issues, and the way forward every year. The current Forum was conducted in light of the COVID effects on Trade and how to rebuild it together.

President Cyril Ramaphosa raised important issues during his address. President Cyril Ramaphosa said that WTO is a significant platform to deal with the devastating effects of COVID on Public health, livelihood, and society.

President Cyril Ramaphosa also claimed that unequal access to vaccines is a huge risk to sustained global recovery. The president proposed diversified production of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics. The presidency urged targeted TRPS Waiver to save millions of lives.

Further, the President of South Africa remembered Nelson Mandela’s message for WTO to work for the ordinary people. President addressed asymmetries in the existing WTO agreements which confine developing economies to the lower end of the global value chain. The president proposed a multilateral trading system, inclusive economic growth, and development as a solution.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said that developing countries must get concessional funding to deal with climate change. The benefits of the digital economy and digital industrialization should be felt all across the world.

The president further added that these issues can be dealt with unity, solidarity, and mutual respect with WTO at the core. He said that collaboration of WTO, IMF and The World Bank is critical as it deals with countries at different levels of economic development. President said that the purpose of WTO is to contribute to changing rather than defending the existing patterns of production.

Countries like South Africa are facing the critical crisis of climate change. Through better and Eco friendly economic development, this risk can be reduced.