Trade ministers order Doha push
Updated on Sunday, January 30, 2011, 20:00 Print Email Bookmark and Share
Trade ministers order Doha push
Davos: Two dozen trade ministers agreed on Saturday to make a final push for a new trade deal, ordering their officials to do what it takes to make the necessary compromises.

World Trade Organization members had been intensifying efforts to finally clinch a deal in the decade-old Doha round after the G20 said 2011 was a window of opportunity to reach agreement.

Negotiators at WTO headquarters in Geneva have been waiting for ministers meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos to give a clear signal that they should make the necessary concessions and trade-offs.

"There is unquestionably a renewed sense, in some people of urgency, in some people optimism, but ... we have yet to see substantial progress," US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said.

"But we do think there is a different negotiating dynamic," he said in an interview.

Ministers acknowledged that there were still big differences to overcome to agree a new set of rules opening up trade in food, industrial goods and services that would boost the global economy and strengthen defences against protectionism.

But they said they were telling officials to negotiate in a spirit of give-and-take to produce a deal each can sell at home.

"There will be demands from all sides in the final lap and if demands are made then there has to be reciprocity," Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma told reporters.

Saturday`s meeting did not get into specific issues but was more about the negotiating process.


Even here there were some differences.

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said ministers had agreed to reach an outline agreement by July. US trade chief Kirk said there had been no agreement on timing. A statement from the Swiss government, that hosted Saturday`s talks, said overall agreement was needed by July.

The talks have staggered on since their launch in late 2001 to open world markets and help poor countries benefit from trade. But officials say there is a new sense of hope this time and WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy told a news conference a deal was possible this year if talks accelerate further.

Washington is calling on the big emerging countries like China, India and Brazil to open their markets more to foreign -- including American -- businesses as a reflection of their growing economic clout.

Emerging economies argue that the deal is largely in place, based on the last intensive spate of negotiations in 2008, and if Washington wants more it must pay with further concessions of its own.

Bureau Report
Post Your Comment
 Your comment(s) on this article
The views represented here are not neccesarily endorsed by and its allied websites. All messages will be moderated and no message that has inflammatory, abusive, derogatory language or any language deemed unfit for publication by the editor will be displayed. Though it will be endeavoured that as many messages as possible be displayed, there will be time lag between the submission and publication of the messages. The website reserves the right to publish or reject any message.

latest news
Media firms seek higher FDI, lower taxes to aid growth
Question mark on ability to combat future crisis; WEF ends on cautious note
India not to rush into allowing FDI in retail: Official
Export curbs move into trade policy spotlight
Lobster in the mountains, riots on the Nile
Business people need to re-educate themselves, advises Nooyi
More News ยป
Opinion Poll
Will WEF meet be able to ease the slowdown chill?
Can`t say