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    WTO Ministerial Lifts Hopes for Doha


    International Trade Forum - Issue 4/2009

    The Seventh Session of the WTO Ministerial Conference recently took place in Geneva. The general theme for discussion was "The WTO, the Multilateral Trading System and the Current Global Economic Environment". Although the Doha round was officially off the agenda of the three-day meeting, it was hoped that members would use the occasion to indicate how they see engagement in the Doha negotiations post-December.

    On several occasions in the past year, world leaders from a number of countries have called for the talks to be brought to a close by the end of next year. If that goal is to be achieved, the negotiations will have to see significant progress over the next few months. In acknowledgement of that fact Ministers have set a tentative timetable for bringing the talks to a close. The G-20 developing country coalition has agreed there should be a multilateral opportunity in early 2010 to drive progress. The Cairns Group of efficient farm exporters have said that a framework deal on agriculture should be struck by that time, with ministers gathering in the early part of 2010. Similar statements from other ministers and groupings have been announced.