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Minister welcomes conclusion of WTO Bali package

Hon Tim Groser

Minister of Trade

8 December 2013      

Media Statement       

Minister welcomes conclusion of WTO Bali package
Trade Minister Tim Groser welcomes the conclusion of the WTO Bali package reached at the 9th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia.
Speaking at the end of the four day biennial conference Mr Groser says, “It’s a modest deal but one well worth having at this time.”
“Although the Bali outcomes provided limited direct benefits for New Zealand, the cost of failure at Bali would have been very significant for the international trading system,” says Mr Groser. 
“This is a clear demonstration that the membership is interested in retaining the WTO as a negotiating forum.  While these agreed outcomes are worthwhile, the major work on the Doha Development Round remains to be completed.  We can take some encouragement that this package, shows that key players are willing to make significant compromises to sustain the system.  Now comparable flexibility has to be deployed by all major players to advance the rest of the Doha agenda.
“The Doha Agenda has considerable potential to enhance the fairness of the global trading system and to deliver great benefit to New Zealand and other WTO members.  Countries must now reflect deeply on the reasons behind the current impasse in the round.  Making even this small step has tested us greatly. 
“In order to move significantly forward we must address some of the crucial challenges, in particular those around agriculture where trade-distorting policies threaten the livelihoods of farmers, and imperil efforts to achieve global food security.  If we are to confront these problems head on, members may need to consider putting more, not less, on the table in the years ahead,” says Mr Groser.

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