Pascal Lamy, Director-General of World Trade Organisation (WTO), has hailed Oman’s trade performance as ‘overall good’ even during the global financial crisis. “Oman can play a major role in development of trade and services in the region by having greater co-operation with other GCC countries,” he said, while addressing a press conference at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel here yesterday. Lamy appreciated Oman’s growth in sectors like tourism and financial services and called upon the Sultanate and other GCC countries to “put more eggs in the Geneva basket”.
“Oman has diversified its economy and doing well along with other GCC countries,” he said. When asked about openness adopted by the GCC countries in international trade practices, Lamy said the region came out with more than what it had committed. Commenting on the global financial crisis and practice of protectionism by some countries, Lamy said, “In fact protectionism does not protect and it makes the situation more difficult. “We as an international boy are monitoring the threat of protectionism regularly and are getting positive response from all the member countries of the WTO.
Till now we did not notice any dramatic case of protectionism as the issue was discussed at length at the G-20 summit.” Lamy stressed on balance between demand and supply in food products. “It has been noticed that number of export restrictions are mildly regulated on food products. This is the time to ensure a proper management of food products as the food market is shrinking globally,” he said. Commenting on the impact of swine flu on international trade, Lamy said the WTO and other international organisations were keeping track on the threat and a mechanism had been in place to create awareness and check the spread of the disease. “There has been no significant impact on international trade due to swine flu,” he said.