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Brazil calls to re-take Doha round trade talks

Friday, May 12th 2006 - 21:00 UTC
Full article

Brazil warned that the European Union/Latinamerica summit in Vienna, Austria was “one of the last chances” to prevent World Trade Organization negotiations from foundering.

"We cannot run the risk of seeing the Geneva WTO negotiations paralyzed, lost in the labyrinth of technical difficulties" underlined Brazilian president Lula da Silva, who described the challenge of re-launching the bogged WTO "Doha Round" negotiations as "eminently political".

"Only brave decisions by heads of state and government can guarantee a positive outcome" he said.

President Lula da Silva said that the European Union "has always been an example and source of inspiration for our (Latin American) project of regional unity", but also admitted recent difficulties in South America's main trade blocs, Mercosur and the Andean Community, which have impeded the region from acting as an only voice.

However Lula da Silva said he was hopeful that current hurdles will be overcome and Mercosur, the Andean Community and the Central American Common Market "will manage not only to increase trade but also create a truly integrated space by unifying transport, communications and energy infrastructures.

The Brazilian president underscored the "common underlying elements and values" of Europe and Latin America "that mutually complement and reinforce each other" including respect for diversity and defence of democracy.

At the last major Doha Round talks in Hong Kong last December, Brazil and India led the developing world in demanding that Europe and North America make immediate concrete concessions on the issue of agricultural subsidies or bear the blame for failure of the WTO talks.

"Poor countries cannot wait another 20 years to see true reform in agricultural trade," Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said then.

Brazil and India, which head the G-20 group made up of developing countries that are agricultural heavyweights, said that despite the good intentions expressed by the EU and the United States on the issue of subsidies and other forms of protection provided to their farmers, little has been done to remedy the situation.

"All types of subsidies that distort trade should be eliminated or drastically reduced," Amorim said at the Hong Kong conclave.

The EU and United States are demanding from G20 more market access for their industries and services sector.

Categories: Mercosur.

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