Top leaders, intellectuals for Doha trade talks

Original Publication Date: 
2 October, 2006

DOHA: Top leaders and intellectuals from developing and developed nations will convene in Qatar next month to revive trade liberalisation talks and to arrive at the best way to support the former countries in their trade expansion to enhance their economic growth and ease poverty.

The 'Policy Dialogue', organised by the Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting (Goic) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), will be opened by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani.

The two-day event, whose main agenda "Aid for Trade: From Policy to Initiative", will start on November 6 and comes as a follow up of the recommendations of the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The objective (of the dialogue) is to provide developing countries' participants (especially those who have not so far been part of the debate) the opportunity to ensure their experiences in using donors' support to increase the benefit from the WTO agreements, a Goic statement said.

The choice of Doha as location for this event is because it is the city where the WTO held its fourth Ministerial Conference in November 2001, which provided the mandate for renewed multilateral trade negotiations on a wide range of areas including agriculture and services, according to Goic secretary general Dr Ahmed Khalil al- Mutawa.

"This policy dialogue aims at reviving the talks on trade liberalisation focusing on an aspect often neglected in the past i.e. financial aid granted to developing countries to cope with structural adjustment required by trade liberalisation," al-Mutawa said.

Goic highlighted the fact that some of the developing countries were experiencing difficulties in capturing the benefits of more open trade.

In these countries, the governments, institutions and enterprises often lacked capacity in information, policies, procedures and infrastructure to effectively compete in the global market and take full advantage of the opportunities that are provided through international trade, it said.

The organisers felt that the policy dialogue will provide an opportunity to seek feedback and input from partner countries on the OECD's 2007-8 planned work on trade and development issues.