Berlin: The head of the World Trade Organisation is hopeful long-running trade talks can be wrapped up next year.
Trade ministers came close to reaching a deal on the Doha round of talks in July 2008, but they collapsed because of a dispute between Washington and emerging economies, spearheaded by India, over proposals to help farmers in poor nations.
The Cairns Group, 19 nations accounting for more than 25% of the world’s agricultural exports, said last week that trade officials from the US, Europe and India had shown fresh resolve to conclude the Doha talks launched in 2001.
“I am optimistic that Doha will be concluded in 2010,” Pascal Lamy, the WTO’s director general, told Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
“The developing countries are pressing for that. But so far there have only been political declarations of intent. Whether the negotiations really progress depends largely on the US Congress,” he added.
The Doha deal is estimated to be worth $150 billion for the world economy and considered even more important now that the world faces its worst economic crisis in decades.