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APEC Leaders Urged to Revive Doha Round

MEDIA RELEASE

8 November 2006


APEC Leaders Urged to Revive Doha Round

As part of the Global Services Coalition, the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce has written to all APEC Leaders urging them to make a decisive push to put the stalled Doha Round back into motion.

The letter was timed to coincide with the upcoming 2006 APEC Leaders Meeting in Hanoi. [http://www.wrcc.co.nz/content/files/Global_Services_Coalition_Letter_to_APEC.pdf]

“While Doha has foundered primarily on agriculture issues, it is actually in services where WTO members – inside or outside of APEC – have the most to gain from these negotiations”, said Chamber CEO, Charles Finny.

“Over the last few decades, services have become a dominant sector of the global economy, and now represent some 50% to 60% of economic activity in most developing countries and over 70% in some industrialized nations.

“Despite these figures, the international trade in services represents only 20% of global trade. The Doha Round represents the best opportunity for the services sector to reach its full potential by gaining market access provisions at the multilateral level. Both developed and developing countries stand to gain enormously from this.

“In New Zealand’s case services represent around 28% of total exports. The Wellington region’s economy is one of the most dependent on the service activities of any region in New Zealand. 90% of our regional GDP is generated by services activity.

“Given the importance of multilateral trade and investment liberalization to economic growth and prosperity, WTO members must break the deadlock on the Doha Round. This will require all parties to come back to the table with improved offers and demonstrate greater flexibility,” Mr Finny concluded.


ENDS

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