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WTO's Azevedo says risks to int'l economy real, economic problems will exist

stefan radu oprea

The World Trade Organisation faces significant challenges, and the current tensions among the trade partners are a huge test for the int'l trade community, on Thursday night said in Bucharest the WTO Director-General, Roberto Azevedo.

Risks are real and real economic problems will exist, the head of the WTO warned.

Roberto Azevedo delivered these statements at a press briefing that he attended alongside the Romanian Minister for the Business Milieu, Trade and Entrepreneurship, Stefan Radu Oprea, ahead of the meeting of the Trade Ministers of the EU member states unfolding in Bucharest in the context of the Romanian presidency of the EU Council.

The report the WTO has released recently warns that in the first quarter of 2019 there will be the smallest economic growth recorded since 2010, so we have to do whatever we can to reduce those tensions. We will talk during this meeting tonight about how we could strengthen the international economic system. I thank Minister Oprea for the leadership he has proved in this respect, the WTO Director-General added.

Therefore, we have to do everything possible to alleviate tensions in the economy, We firstly need to de-escalate the situation, then we solve the economic disputes. The year 2018 was the busiest year in the last two decades, in terms of economic disputes. We have to enhance the international economic architecture, stressed Roberto Azevedo.

In the context of Romania's exercising the presidency of the EU Council, the Informal Meeting of the Trade Ministers is taking place in Bucharest, 21 to 22 February. In this context, European Commissioner for Commerce Cecilia Malmstrom and the WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo are attending the meeting.

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