Trade talks need political signal from G20 meet: WTO chief

Trade talks need political signal from G20 meet: WTO chief

Geneva: WTO chief Pascal Lamy on Thursday called on rich and emerging nation leaders attending the G20 summit in South Korea next month to send a clear political signal to accelerate global trade talks.

His call came as the World Trade Organization (WTO) scheduled its next ministerial conference for 15-17 December in Geneva, giving trade chiefs from the 153 WTO members an opportunity to agree on a deal in the nine year-old Doha Round.

However, Lamy on Tuesday stresed that the simmering and troubled talks on expanding liberalisation of global trade in agriculture, industrial goods and services needed to move up a gear.

On Thursday, he called on the Group of 20 summit, as well as the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Japan next month, to give some impetus to the ongoing, largely technical, negotiations among groups of diplomats in Geneva.

“I think we are looking to leaders to send a clear political signal that they are ready to enter the end-game of the Doha negotiations, that they are willing to empower you to enter the final stretch of the negotiations," Lamy told the WTO’s ruling General Council.

G20 finance ministers and central bankers are due to discuss volatile foreign exchange markets at a pre-summit meeting in South Korea on Friday.

The WTO chief also highlighted that issue this week because of its role in fuelling international tensions over trade.