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Australia to Host Doha Round Ministerial Meeting

Media release
Thursday 15 August 2002 / MVT096/2002

Australia to Host Doha Round Ministerial Meeting

Australia would host an informal meeting of trade ministers later this year in Sydney to discuss the Doha round of multilateral trade negotiations, Trade Minister Mark Vaile confirmed today.

"The Doha round is vitally important for the global trading system and for Australia's trade interests," Mr Vaile said.

"I am determined that Australia takes every opportunity to ensure the round moves ahead and concludes on schedule.

"The Mini-Ministerial meeting of World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Ministers will be held in Sydney on 14-15 November.

"The meeting will bring together trade ministers from some 25 countries to discuss progress made in Geneva since last November's Doha meeting, and how we can ensure the next WTO Ministerial meeting, to be held in Mexico in September 2003, is successful."

Mr Vaile said that over the last few weeks he had held detailed discussions about the Sydney meeting with the Mexican Minister for the Economy, Luis Derbez, who will chair the 5th Ministerial meeting next year.

"I have now spoken to many trade ministers who have indicated their support for the proposal and confirmed their attendance for the Sydney meeting.

"Aside from the major industrialised countries, such as the EU and the United States, I have been in contact with my colleagues in developed and developing countries across a wide range of regions and interests.

"The meeting will help build understanding across the range of key issues, including development issues as well as market access and the preparations for the next Ministerial meeting."

Mr Vaile said that the hosting of this meeting, the first to be held since the launch of the Doha round, was an important confirmation of Australia's standing in and commitment to the multilateral trading system and his determination to ensure that Australia continued to play a strong leading role in the Doha round.

"This is all about this Government's commitment to drive the trade agenda forward," Mr Vaile said.

ENDS

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