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Is Doha done for?

Wednesday 9 November

Is Doha done for?

Some tough talking is going on, but there’s no need for tears yet said TLN, Executive Director, Suse Reynolds today.

She was referring to the World Trade Organisation’s Doha Round of negotiations which have reached a new level of urgency in the last week.

“New Zealanders have a great deal at stake in these negotiations. If our lifestyles are to improve we need economic growth and much of this growth will come from selling our goods and services overseas.

“A successful Doha Round will open up markets across the globe and offer all kinds of fantastic opportunities for our businesses,” said Reynolds.

The key sticking point in the negotiations is the degree to which Europe is prepared to expose its farmers to more competition from producers like New Zealand’s. Europe has made an offer on market access which the US and others, including the G20 group of developing countries and New Zealand, do not believe goes far enough.

There is now barely a month before Ministers meet in Hong Kong to agree on a blueprint for talks opening up agriculture, industrial goods and services markets in 2006.

“While at the moment Hong Kong is looking less likely to deliver the best outcome we could hope for, there is still a great deal of the vital political will needed to make progress towards a good outcome,” Reynolds said.

ENDS

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