The “draft compromise texts” released by the chairman of the agricultural negotiating group, Ambassador Crawford Falconer of New Zealand, and his counterpart for non-agricultural market access, Ambassador Donald Stephenson of Canada, with the endorsement of WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, outline ways to bridge the gaps among positions expressed by the 150 WTO member governments.
Importantly, these documents will now provide a negotiating basis for WTO members to intensify their efforts to reach agreement on a framework for liberalizing trade in agricultural and industrial products, and thereby pave the way for completing the Doha round by the end of this year.
“We warmly welcome the issuance of these texts by the chairs and commend them for their efforts. Expectations are high that WTO members will make good use of them and muster the political will needed to reach consensus as soon as possible and to bring the Doha round to a successful conclusion by year-end,” said ICC Chairman Marcus Wallenberg, who is also Chairman of SEB, the Swedish banking group. “The Doha Development Agenda (DDA) constitutes an historic opportunity to create jobs, generate economic growth and raise living standards throughout the world,” Mr Wallenberg added.
ICC, which represents hundreds of thousands of companies in 130 countries, has been unflagging in its calls for a successful, balanced and comprehensive agreement in the DDA.