International trade – Meeting between Jean-Yves Le Drian and Roberto Azevêdo, director-general of the World Trade Organization (Paris, 23 May 2019)


Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian met in Paris with Roberto Azevêdo, director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), on May 23.

The minister reaffirmed France’s commitment to an open, multilateral, rules-based trading system, whose rules are guaranteed by the WTO. He reiterated France’s full support for the work undertaken by the EU to modernize the organization in order to:

  • strengthen the rules to better combat unfair trading practices and ensure the conditions for fair competition at the global level
  • improve the transparency and functioning of the WTO as a negotiating forum
  • preserve an effective dispute-resolution mechanism within the organization.

Following the ministerial council meeting of the Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD) on May 22-23 devoted to the opportunities and challenges of the digital transition in the service of sustainable development, the minister also lent the WTO director-general his support for current WTO negotiations on e-commerce, negotiations that are vital to meeting the challenges of the digital economy.