Lithuania's Foreign Minister invites members of the public to discuss the importance of international trade
On 20 November, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius took part in an international high-level trade policy conference “Global Trade – what is in it for us?” at the National Gallery of Art.
"Exports are an engine of Lithuania‘s economic growth. Thus, we have a keen interest in an open and free international economic system," said Lithuania‘s Foreign Minister. He emphasized the need to protect and strengthen the World Trade Organization – a guarantor of a stable world trading system.
Minister L. Linkevičius reminded that the EU trade agreements provided opportunities for exporting not only goods, but also the EU standards and values: "A deep and comprehensive free trade agreement between Ukraine and the EU is a success story. The bilateral trade between the two countries has increased by 20% since the entry into force of the agreement. At the same time, it has brought Ukraine closer to the EU standards," said Lithuania‘s Foreign Minister.
The Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Roberto Azevêdo, who was paying an official visit to Lithuania, and the European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström gave speeches at the event on the invitation of the Lithuanian Foreign Minister. The WTO head stressed that trade wars threatened global economic growth and highlighted a need to address the root causes of systemic threats posed by the growing tensions in global trade. The European Commissioner for Trade reminded that Lithuanian exporters were among those EU companies, which made the most of the benefits of the trade agreements.
In addition, discussions with the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development of Finland Anne-Mari Virolainen, leaders of Lithuanian and foreign businesses, and public leaders were held. The discussions focused on the impact of international trade on businesses and the lives of EU citizens.
The conference offered a great opportunity for the people of Lithuania to hear from primary sources about the world trade changes, to ask questions, and to take part in discussions with the world trade leaders. The conference was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania.