Compromise needed to reach global trade deal – World Trade Organization chief

23 July 2008

Countries must concentrate on compromise if they are to strike a global agreement to complete the current, much-delayed Doha round of trade liberalization negotiations by the end of this year, despite recent “constructive” talks, the head of the World Trade Organization (WTO) said today.

Countries must concentrate on compromise if they are to strike a global agreement to complete the current, much-delayed Doha round of trade liberalization negotiations by the end of this year, despite recent “constructive” talks, the head of the World Trade Organization (WTO) said today.

Pascal Lamy, the agency’s Director-General, told an informal gathering of the WTO’s Trade Negotiations Committee that progress was made during yesterday’s second round of consultations, but positive steps were “unevenly distributed across the issues discussed,” including agricultural and non-agricultural goods, subsidies and market access.

This year’s talks on the Doha Round – a round that was originally supposed to conclude several years ago – kicked off in Geneva on Monday, and Mr. Lamy said that the week-long meeting should result in “the much awaited green light that both the developed and developing world expects from us. This is a heavy responsibility and we must not let this chance slip away.”

He appealed to all delegations to deliberate on the issues at hand with urgency, emphasizing the importance of compromise.

“Success or failure depends very much on how far all are prepared to cooperate with each other on the fundamentally important issues, and whether we are each prepared to act with the interests of the broader membership, and of the benefits to the system as a whole, uppermost in our minds,” the Director-General said at today’s informal meeting of the Committee.

In his address, Mr. Lamy also welcomed Cape Verde as the 153rd member of the WTO.

“Membership will provide a stable and predictable basis for the growth and development of Cape Verde,” he said. “They have worked very hard to achieve this, knowing it will give a welcome boost to the economy, and their efforts serve as an example to us all.”

The island nation ratified its accession package – the final step in the accession process – today.

 

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