Thursday, January 22, 2009

WTO still hopes for more trade talks

The leader of the World Trade Organization recently shared what he hopes to see in the new year. The WTO Director Pascal Lamy said he wants to renew the Doha round of free trade talks. Lamy says the economic slowdown has really hurt trade between nations, and that increased trade could help developing countries.

From the Hindustan Times, this Reuters article recorded Lamy's remarks that he made while in the UK.

The Doha round was launched in late 2001 to boost world trade and help developing countries export their way out of poverty, but agreement has proved elusive.

The G20 group of rich and emerging nations called in November for an outline deal by the end of 2008 to help counter the economic crisis.

But last month Lamy decided political differences were still to wide to invite ministers to Geneva to seek a breakthrough.

In his speech on Thursday he praised Britain's support for the negotiations and Prime Minister Gordon Brown's leadership.

"It is this leadership that we are counting on to ensure that the coming G20 summit in April here in London will result in a recommitment to conclude the negotiations this year," said Lamy, who also met Brown on Thursday.

Lamy said the crisis made it more urgent to reform the global trading system to help developing countries.

"There is no doubt that this crisis will have profound and possibly prolonged effects on developing countries, the least developed among them in particular, whose recent good economic performance has been largely driven by external factors," he said.

1 comment:

Global Patriot said...

Let's hope that future trade negotiations include respect for the environment and the rights of indigenous people, topics that have often been neglected or placed in a subservient role to the almighty dollar.