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Global trading regime needs to create scope for poor world

24
Apr '07
The current round of international trade talks must succeed, or the world's poorest countries will slip further behind and the entire multilateral trading system will be in jeopardy, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned in Qatar as he urged Member States to re-double their efforts to reach agreement.

In a speech to the Seventh Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade, held in the capital, Doha, Mr. Ban said globalization had made travel, shipping and communications much easier and made the benefits of trade “more evident than ever.”

For this reason, he said there must be a successful conclusion to the Doha round of trade talks. “The global trading regime needs to create opportunities for the poorest countries, instead of leaving them at a disadvantage.”

Named after the city where they were launched in 2001, the Doha Round of trade talks stalled last year amid disputes between developed and developing countries over agricultural subsidies, but talks have resumed recently.

Mr. Ban warned that if the latest talks fail, “serious damage will be done to those who can least afford it, to the multilateral trading system, and to multilateralism itself. Should this round of trade talks succeed, Doha will become synonymous not only with free trade, but also indelibly linked to development.”

The Secretary-General told the Forum that while democracy was intrinsically valuable on its own terms, it also brought positive effects to trade anddevelopment, offering institutional certainty and stability and encouraging businesses to have greater confidence in a country's economic outlook.


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