CONTINUEThis site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.
  1. Front Page
  2. News By Topic
  3. Interim Doha Agreement 'Within Reach' Says Lamy

Interim Doha Agreement 'Within Reach' Says Lamy

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

12 June 2007

World Trade Organisation Director-General Pascal Lamy, in a speech to the G8 Summit at Heiligendamm, Germany on 8 June 2007, said an interim Doha agreement is now “within reach”, and urged the G8 leaders “not to let this opportunity slip through your fingers”.

Lamy told the delegates: “what better way to fulfil the numerous commitments that the G8 has made in favour of the developing countries over the past few years?”

He went on to add that:

"Contacts, discussions and negotiations have picked up considerably over the last two months, and while my diagnosis remains cautious, I think that an agreement is now within our reach."

"I do not mean a final agreement on all of the twenty topics included in the list agreed upon when the negotiations were launched in 2001 and which remain inextricably linked to each other, but an interim agreement which would pave the way towards a final agreement in 6 to 9 months' time."

Lamy said that the components of this interim agreement were identified long ago: the amount of the reductions in trade-distorting agricultural subsidies; the amount of the reductions in agricultural tariffs and in industrial tariffs. These three elements are the centrepiece of the negotiations. "They also happen to be the most politically sensitive subjects in your countries," he observed.

However, he noted that: "The reason why I think an agreement is within our reach is that your positions have moved closer to each other. There remain a number of significant differences, it is true: but with an added political effort from each and every one of you, we should be able to cover the remaining ground."

On subsidies, Lamy suggested that additional effort is needed from the Americans, but he believes that the Europeans and Japanese should be able to follow without any major trouble. However, he added that on the opening up of the agricultural markets, the Europeans and Japan will have to improve their offer, and the emerging countries will have to accept that the protection to which they are entitled does not mean that no further opening will take place. On industrial products, he said that the emerging countries, as well, will have to improve the offers they have tabled.

According to Lamy, the additional concessions, whether subsidy reductions or increased imports or exports, amounted roughly to a few billion dollars or euros.

"I understand that each and all of you is ready to reach a compromise. All that remains to be done is to establish the exact proportions involved to ensure that the result is balanced, and we all know that this is a matter of political judgement," he commented.

Lamy urged the G8 governments to avoid weighing out the final concessions "on an apothecary's weight-balance," and to focus on the overall world economic landscape and on the enormous risks involved in failure. "Not only for the WTO, which you all need, but also for one of the few systems of international cooperation to have emerged as strong as ever from the turbulence of the 1990s."

"The exceptionally favourable economic cycle we are currently experiencing is not immune to threats, including the threat of protectionism," he stated. "Nothing could be worse than a failure for the developing countries - whose stakes in world growth are now high – and hence for the rest of you as well."

Lamy concluded:

"Your negotiators have gradually constructed over the past five years an edifice which you must complete before the wind changes. Its dimensions warrant its completion. It will require a number of concessions which your negotiators will have to be given the authority to accept during the coming weeks. Do not let this opportunity slip through your fingers."

TAGS: Italy

To see today's news, click here.


Tax-News Reviews

Cyprus Review

A review and forecast of Cyprus's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Cyprus Review »

Malta Review

A review and forecast of Malta's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Malta Review »

Jersey Review

A review and forecast of Jersey's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Jersey Review »

Budget Review

A review of the latest budget news and government financial statements from around the world.

Visit Budget Review »

Stay Updated

Please enter your email address to join the mailing list. View previous newsletters.

By subscribing to our newsletter service, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

To manage your mailing list preferences, please click here »