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Peter Mandelson to address Doha talks at World Retail Congress

Feb '07
Peter Mandelson, the Commissioner for External Trade at the EU, has confirmed that he will be speaking at the World Retail Congress on the future of the Doha negotiations and implications for world trade.

Mandelson will join Pascal Lamy, the Director General of the World Trade Organisation and the man leading the crucial global trade talks, together with other speakers at the centre of negotiations, to access the risks, opportunities and new dynamics of life posed by the negotiations.

The joint participation of Mandelson and Lamy at the World Retail Congress will provide an opportunity to update senior players from the global retail industry on the status of the multilateral talks, which aim to lower trade barriers around the world, permitting free trade between countries of varying prosperity.

Though stalled since July 2006, a breakthrough in the Doha round was claimed during the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, with Lamy declaring that the negotiations had gained a “new momentum”, and renewed confidence that the talks will soon be back on track. Pascal Lamy is now expected to call for resuming full-scale regular negotiations.

Peter Mandelson recently announced that the broad outlines of a deal in multilateral trade talks are imminent, and that the EU was prepared to do whatever needs to be done to recommence the Doha round, including offering to cut farm tarriffs and subsidies and goods tariffs.

Lamy and Mandelson will also be joined in the plenary session “The future of world trade: life after Doha” by Xavier R. Durieu, Chairman, Forum for International Retail Association Executives and CEO, Eurocommerce.

Ian McGarrigle, Congress Director, said that “With speculation rife that the Doha round of talks may finally resume following the confidence displayed by Peter Mandelson and Pascal Lamy during Davos, their shared platform during the World Retail Congress will provide a timely opportunity to report on its progress to an audience of senior retailers from all over the world. This will also be a unique occasion for the retail industry to make its collective voice heard, and for the World Trade Organisation, the EU and policy makers to engage with a very significant stakeholder group in the global economy”.

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