Related News

Home » Business » Economy

Bali talks to push Doha trade discussion

NINETEEN leading agricultural exporting nations, including Australia, Brazil and South Africa, began talks in Bali yesterday aimed at pushing forward troubled world trade negotiations.

As well as seeking to move forward the stalled Doha trade round, the Cairns Group of nations, which accounts for more than 25 percent of the world's agricultural exports, is also expected to take aim at United States and European dairy export subsidies.

Despite the global economic crisis sharpening pressures for protectionism, there are also hopes that political conditions for a world trade deal are improving. US Trade Representative Ron Kirk was due to attend the three-day meeting in the resort of Bali, as well as officials from the European Union and India.

According to a draft document obtained by Reuters, the talks would include "How can the Cairns Group best exert influence to reinvigorate the negotiations and finish the (Doha) Round."

The protection of farmers from price swings or market implosions, such as subsidies for agricultural products, has emerged as one of the trickiest topics in the Doha round.

US subsidies

The US in May moved to subsidize some of its dairy exports, saying it was forced to respond to new European subsidies that have made it hard to compete in global markets depressed by the economic downturn. Top dairy exporters Australia and New Zealand have led protests against the moves.

Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Pangestu also said the Bali meeting would discuss obstacles preventing the 153 World Trade Organization members from wrapping up the Doha round.

"The Cairns Group wants to eliminate huge agricultural subsidies and export subsidies for agricultural products by developed countries which have distorted global trade and hurt poor farmers in many developing countries," Pangestu told reporters on Friday.

Trade ministers came close in July 2008 to a deal on the Doha talks, launched in the Qatari capital in late 2001 to help poor countries prosper through trade.

The Cairns Group consists of Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, and Uruguay.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend