G-20, trade powers clamour for WTO talks

Original Publication Date: 
10 September, 2006

RIO DE JANEIRO: The Group of 20 emerging countries and world trade heavyweights the United States, European Union and Japan clamoured on Monday for a resumption of the WTO Doha Round of negotiations, but offered no hard specifics on when or how.

"The (Doha) round is alive," Brazil's foreign minister, Celso Amorim, declared at a news conference.

"We have taken the patient out of the intensive care unit and now it's in the sick bay," he said. "Not one of us wants the round to fail."

Brazil, South America's economic powerhouse, hosted a two-day meeting of the 23 emerging countries of the G-20, joined by four of the poorest developing countries, that opened on Saturday with a pledge to work towards reviving the Doha Round to liberalize global trade.

The World Trade Organization suspended the round in July after negotiators from six major players, including the US, the EU, Brazil and India, failed to hammer out a framework of an accord after five years of talks.

On Monday officials of the G-20 and the four poor countries met with WTO, US, EU and Japanese trade negotiators, and key actors in the meeting indicated reason for optimism.

The WTO secretary general, Pascal Lamy, said "all the WTO members answered 'yes'" to the resumption of the round of negotiations. Its suspension was a "critical meltdown," he added.

With the Rio meeting, "one has passed from the 'critical accident' sign to the 'WTO negotiations at work' sign," Lamy said at the news conference.

Ref Link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1978697.cms