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Goff to join trade ministers to negotiate WTO deal

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Trade


27 June 2006
Media Statement

Goff to join trade ministers to negotiate WTO deal


Trade Minister Phil Goff travels to Geneva this week to join with other Trade Ministers to try to progress the World Trade Organisation’s Doha Development Round talks.

The aim of the Geneva ministerial meetings, scheduled to run from 29 June to 2 July, is to advance work on a deal on the structure of a new agreement on agriculture and industrial products.

"Movement on improving market access in these two areas and reducing domestic support for agriculture is crucial to clear the way for the rest of the Doha package to be finalised in July," Mr Goff said.

“Achieving that outcome won’t be easy. Progress depends on whether key big players – the European Union, the United States, Brazil and India - are prepared to commit themselves to an ambitious outcome, to make concessions and to find common ground.
"Despite the political will to conclude the round shown at the recent trade ministers meetings at the OECD in Paris and APEC in Ho Chi Min City, little progress has been made since last years meeting in Hong Kong to resolve the main differences between the key parties.

"This lack of progress places in jeopardy the ability to conclude the round by the end of this year.

While in Geneva, Mr Goff will also participate in discussions on the state of the Doha Round services negotiations.

“For big services exporters, a good outcome on services is essential if they are to agree to the outcome of the Doha Round as a whole. And services are increasingly important to New Zealand too – they now account for 28 percent of our total exports.”
Around forty WTO Ministers will travel to Geneva, including newly-confirmed US Trade Representative Susan Schwab, European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson, and their counterparts from Brazil, Japan, India and Australia.

"If we are to secure a successful outcome to Doha, all WTO members must come to the negotiating table in Geneva prepared to show real flexibility.”

"Economic studies show a huge net benefit from concluding a high ambition round. Developing countries in particular will benefit from increased access to developed countries markets and the reduction in trade distorting subsidies and export incentives by the developed world.

"This will also clearly benefit New Zealand as an efficient exporting country.

“New Zealand will continue to be actively engaged across all aspects of the negotiations, because we are determined to do all we can to see the Round concluded successfully,” Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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