WTO Chair in Chinese Taipei hosts regional conference on Fisheries Subsidies

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

From 18-19 September 2023, the WTO Chair in Chinese Taipei held a conference on the architecture of the WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. A gathering of Asian WCP Chairs was held back-to-back with the conference at National Taiwan University, organized by Prof. Tsai-yu Lin, holder of the WTO Chair, alongside Prof. Tsai-fang Chen and Prof. Yueh-Ping (Alex) Yang, the Co-Chairs of the team, with the support and partnership of Prof. Chang-fa Lo, the Permanent Representative of the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu to the WTO.

The conference provided a forum for discussion regarding the implementation of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies and gathered academics along with policymakers, from governments in the region as they prepare to ratify the framework which WTO members have agreed upon.

The panel sessions focussed on the dynamics of further negotiations under the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, its regulatory impact, and the welfare and institutional implications of the removal of these subsidies. Other discussions examined the intersection between the agreement and other WTO rules as well as its linkages with other international laws such as the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The conference included a session dedicated to sharing experiences in the implementation of the agreement in the region. Ms. Kyeong Kang from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries in Korea, Dr. Nguyen Thanh Binh from the Viet Nam Institute of Fisheries Economics and Planning established by the Ministry of Fisheries, and Dr. Hsin-Ming Yeh from the Ministry of Agriculture in Chinese Taipei shared their perspectives as policymakers on the implementation of the agreement and the prospects for international and regional cooperation to ensure the sustainability of the world's oceans.

This event also brought out the importance of looking ahead to the 13th Ministerial Conference, which will take place in February 2024 in Abu Dhabi, and making progress towards concluding the second wave of negotiations to achieve a comprehensive set of disciplines on fisheries subsidies, including addressing those that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing.