L’AQUILA, Italy: The Group of Eight (G-8) leaders plus Brazil, India, China, Mexico and South Africa will agree at a summit on Thursday to conclude the Doha Round of world trade talks successfully in 2010, according to a draft communique seen by Reuters.
“Leaders commit to reaching an ambitious and balanced conclusion to the Doha Round in 2010, consistent with its mandate, building on progress already made on modalities,” the draft prepared for Thursday’s meeting of the so-called “G-8 plus G-5” said.
G-8 comprises the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and Canada. G-5 is composed of Brazil, India, China, Mexico and South Africa.
The Doha talks have been effectively on ice since a meeting of ministers last July failed to clinch an outline agreement, although World Trade Organisation director-general Pascal Lamy said it had completed 80% of a deal.
A separate draft statement to be issued by G-8 on Wednesday will commit to concluding the talks as soon as possible. But it stops short of setting a date for reaching a deal to boost dwindling trade suffering from the worst economic slump since World War II.
“This is merely technical. The G-8 statement will feed into the G-8 plus G-5 statement the next day,” a G-8 official involved in preparing the summit in the Italian town of L’Aquila said. “G-8 alone cannot achieve Doha, they need the agreement of the G-5 to have any realistic chance of success and this is why the second day’s statement is so important.”