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Meetings on world trade talks resume

23 January 2005 Media Statement

Meetings on world trade talks resume

This year will be a busy one for international trade negotiations, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton leaves for Davos, Switzerland, tomorrow where he will take part in informal ministerial talks on the World Trade Organisation’s Doha Round negotiations.

This is the first informal ministerial meeting since the formal meeting in Geneva in July last year which reached agreement on negotiating frameworks, including a historic agreement to eliminate export subsidies on agricultural products.

Mr Sutton said 2005 would be a busy one for trade negotiators, and an important one for the World Trade Organisation.

“We really need to build on the momentum of the success of the July meeting in Geneva and make sure we have the bones of an agreement that can be signed off by all ministers at the Hong Kong ministerial meeting in December.
“That means that we are likely to have a large number of informal mini-ministerial meetings as groups of ministers attempt to find solutions that all can agree to at Hong Kong.”

Mr Sutton said New Zealand’s goals were quite clear.

“We want the rules for non-agricultural goods, agricultural goods, and services to be fair. We want to have greater market access, reduced domestic support, and the elimination of export subsidies. The world trading system will work better for all if this is achieved, especially developing countries which are heavily reliant on agricultural trade which is the most distorted.”

ENDS

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