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WTO voices concern with slow progress in Doha round of trade negotiations

Date 02/06/2015 - 10:37:00 | 131 views
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WTO's Director-General Roberto Azevedo on Monday expressed concern over the slow progress of negotiations on the remaining issues of the Doha Development Agenda.

"On the basis of the discussions I have had over recent weeks, I am becoming increasingly concerned that we are not making the progress that is needed in the key areas of agriculture, industrial products and services," said Azevedo.

A meeting of all WTO members was convened Monday in Geneva to discuss the current development in negotiations on the work program for concluding the Doha round.

The WTO chief gave a detailed briefing to members on recent consultations, covering a range of Doha issues, noting "agreeing on a work program was never going to be an easy task".

He warned the WTO members "are still waiting for the necessary convergence on key issues in order to deliver the outcome we need by July and to help us build towards a successful ministerial meeting in Nairobi in December".

Azevedo outlined, as he had on previous occasions, that this work will continue over the coming weeks in the WTO's various Negotiating Groups.

He reiterated his commitment to the transparency and inclusiveness of the negotiating process, which was a crucial element of the success in Bali in 2013.

Commenting on the forward process, Azevedo said he would ensure that members are fully briefed on all aspects of the negotiations, affirming this would be essential to ensure that the necessary political calls can be taken in due course.

The Doha Round is the latest round of trade negotiations among the WTO members. Its aim is to achieve major reform of the international trading system through the introduction of lower trade barriers and revised trade rules.

WTO members agreed in November 2014 to agree a work program by July as a springboard towards the WTO's 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in December./.

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