Trade Ministers Must Move Doha Talks Forward

WTO officials hope that new revised negotiating texts can lead to completion.

The goal for completing the Doha Round of global World Trade Organization talks is the end of the year. Although several goals have been set and missed during the seven years since the talks began.

Ambassador Crawford Falconer of New Zealand, the chairman of the WTO Agriculture Committee is hopeful, but says progress will depend on how WTO member nation's trade ministers move forward with the revised trade negotiating texts.

"It'll depend a bit on how the discussions go on agriculture as well as NAMA let alone what happens on other texts that may or may not emerge in the meantime," Falconer says. "I don't think anyone really knows what will happen after that point."

Earlier this week when Falconer released the revised negotiating texts, he said that the gap between several key agricultural issues had narrowed.

"Given that I don't believe that there are that many issues left in agriculture based on where the process has gotten us to this point, although hot spots will probably remain all the way to ministers," Falconer says. "I don't think it's a long way away from being able to resolve it if you were only looking at agriculture. But of course nobody is only looking at agriculture."

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