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PIA Press Release

RP ready to contribute own input to discussions on global trade

SYDNEY (5 September) -- As members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) resumed Monday intensive negotiations on the long-stalled Doha Round, the Philippines expressed its preparedness to contribute its own input to the discussions of the global trade talks.

Special Trade Representative Jose Buencamino, the Philippines special negotiator in the WTO, said Trade Secretary Peter Favila, in his statement in today's Asia-Pacific Ministerial Meeting, pointed out that the Philippines could only "make contributions (to the discussions) as a developing country."

Explaining the context of Favila's statement, Buencamino said that the Philippines commitments to the trade talks "would be less than that of full reciprocity."

The resumption of the stalled WTO negotiations was high on the agenda of this year's APEC meeting in Australia.

Buencamino said the negotiations in Geneva focused on agriculture and NAMA (non-agricultural market access), the two major areas of contention that have blocked the six-year-old Doha Round from making progress.

Launched in 2001, the Doha Round seeks to forge agreement on lowering trade barriers to boost the global economy and help the development of poor countries.

However, the negotiations have been stalled due to disagreements among the WTO members, especially industrialized countries, on agriculture trade and industrial market access.

Buencamino said that in his APEC statement, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy explained that the talks should be concluded by the end of the year or early next year.

Otherwise, the negotiations face the risk of being frozen over long period and such a development would have negative impact on global economic growth and the multilateral trade system. (OPS) [top]

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