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APEC Trade Ministers statement on Doha Round

Embargoed until 5.30pm, Friday, 2 June (NZT)

12th MEETING OF APEC MINISTERS RESPONSIBLE FOR TRADE
STATEMENT ON DOHA DEVELOPMENT AGENDA
Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
1-2 June 2006

We, the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade, gathering for our 12th Meeting in Ho Chi Minh city, Viet Nam, strongly re-affirm our economies' commitment to the multilateral trading system and to a successful conclusion of the WTO Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations by the end of 2006.

The DDA round offers so much potential benefit for global trade, economic growth and development by delivering concrete results that expand trade flows. A strong market access result, among others, is a prerequisite for successful conclusion of this Round, as it has been in previous Rounds. We, therefore, commit ourselves to summon the necessary political will to conclude the negotiations with an ambitious and balanced outcome across the board and we call on all other parties to do likewise.

Our Leaders agreed last November that breaking the impasse in the agriculture negotiations, in particular market access, will unblock the key areas, including non-agricultural products and services. This is still the case. Urgent action is needed to drive the process of reaching agreement on agriculture and NAMA modalities by the end of June. At the end of July we need to see the overall shape of the package and have draft texts to work for a final result at the end of the year.

As we approach the end of June, APEC economies are ready to meet the challenge of agreeing ambitious modalities, based on the guidance agreed in the 2004 Frameworks and supplemented at Hong Kong. To do so, we must ensure that the flexibilities provided for in NAMA and agriculture do not undermine substantially improved market access.

- In NAMA, we agreed last year to pursue a simple Swiss formula. We support a formula with two ambitious coefficients applying to developed and developing Members delivering real and meaningful market access improvements. We are committed to continue work on sectoral initiatives using a critical mass approach and non-mandatory basis, with the aim to deliver results over and above those which would be achieved by the formula modality.

- In agriculture, we have agreed to make effective cuts and disciplines in trade-distorting domestic support and have a range of numbers on the table. On export competition we have agreed to the parallel elimination of all forms of export subsidies by 2013 with serious front loading, although work is still needed on disciplines on the other elements of export competition. Market access lags behind, where the issues of a tariff formula, along with other issues such as sensitive products and special products must be taken together to ensure substantial market opportunities that generate new trade flows while addressing sensitivities of Members. More work is required to establish effective provisions on S&D treatment, including special products and SSM.

Each of us is ready to contribute to the end of June milestone by supporting strong formulas that deliver meaningful new opportunities for our economies to prosper and develop. APEC Economies account for close to 50% of world trade – we cannot afford to lose this opportunity for global growth. We intend to stay personally involved in the development of modalities and the outlines of the package by the end of July. When next meet in November, we will need to give the negotiations a final push towards conclusion.

We appreciate the contribution and efforts made by the Director-General of the WTO Pascal Lamy to advance the DDA Round negotiations and extend our fullest support and cooperation to both Director-General Lamy and the chairs of the WTO negotiating groups

ENDS

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