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Much Mike Moore can be proud of

Dr Lockwood Smith

National Trade Spokesperson


30 August 2002

Much Mike Moore can be proud of

"Mike Moore achieved tremendous change in the perception of the World Trade Organisation - it was very much needed and it's very much to his credit," National's Trade Spokesperson, Lockwood Smith, said today on the retirement of Mike Moore as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.

"Not only has Mike guided the WTO from the failure of Seattle through to the success of the launch of the Doha Round, but he has helped to change the public perception of the value of trade liberalisation.

"I was at the battle for Seattle and experienced the tensions and violence firsthand. It wasn't the first time; we'd see similar violence in Geneva at the previous WTO Ministerial.

"The remarkable transformation was demonstrated at the public symposium Mike organised in Geneva at the end of April this year - "The Doha Development Agenda and Beyond".

"From the anger of Seattle we saw the NGOs sitting down contributing constructively to the debate on trade liberalisation. We had one NGO, Oxfam International, pointing out the importance of trade liberalisation in alleviating poverty. We had respected environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg demonstrating the value to the environment of trade liberalisation. It was a tribute to Mike Moore's enormous effort to changing the way the World Trade Organisation is perceived.

"To cap things off, we now have at the Earth Summit in South Africa some of the poorest farmers in the world demonstrating in favour of trade liberalisation. Mike has much to be proud of and New Zealand can feel very proud of Mike Moore's achievements as Director-General", said Dr Smith.

"While the end of Mike Moore's term as Director-General is a loss for New Zealand, his successor Dr Superchai Panitchpakdi of Thailand is also a friend of New Zealand. In fact, we have a number of very good friends in key positions in Geneva at the WTO. I am confident now that the United States has trade promotion authority progress on the Doha development agenda is possible", said Dr Smith.

Ends

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