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Time to walk the Talk with Trade Reform

21 October 2002
PR140/02

Time to walk the Talk with Trade Reform

It is time to walk the talk with agricultural trade reform; Federated Farmers President Tom Lambie and CEO Tony St Clair have told farm leaders at a Cordell Hull Institute meeting in Brazil.

The Cordell Hull Institute convened in Rio de Janeiro an informal meeting of senior government officials, farm leaders and independent experts on trade and agricultural policies ahead of the Cairns Group meeting in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Mr Lambie has welcomed the meeting's general agreement on the importance of pursing ambitious objectives in the Doha Round negotiations.

"The overall objective of the Doha Round negotiations should be the integration of developing countries into the world economy, said Mr Lambie.

"We will need to encourage developing countries to help themselves by opening their markets and stimulating the adjustment and investment needed to promote economic growth and development.

"However, the elimination of all types of subsidies to farmers, particularly Northern Hemisphere farmers, will be crucial.

"There can be no underestimating the strength of resistance in many countries to the reform of farm-support polices and the liberalisation of agricultural trade.

"It is essential to make early and substantial progress on agriculture in the Doha Round Trade negotiations. This is the "opportunity of the century" to liberalise farm trade."

ENDS

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