Sunday, November 27, 2005

Global trade talks 'to drag on'

Rows over farm subsidies were still a major sticking point, Mr Lamy said in an interview with the BBC.
Wealthier countries that support their agriculture industries have to make more concessions, he said.
Mr Lamy added to the tide of opinion that sees little hope of a trade deal at next month's summit in Hong Kong.
A deal may not be agreed until late 2006, he said, but the situation would be reviewed next month.
Slow progress
However, he expected WTO members to be two-thirds of the way to an agreement by the end of the Hong Kong summit.
He stressed that it was important to make sure the progress of the negotiations was "balanced" at December's talks in Hong Kong before going forward.
Last year, he pointed out, WTO members were half-way there to agreeing a deal in the so-called Doha round of talks.
"But one thing that cannot change is that we must be ready to finish the negotiations by the end of next year," Mr Lamy said.
The Doha round of trade talks began in 2001.

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