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APEC Leaders’ Statement on the WTO DDA Released

APEC Leaders’ Statement on the WTO DDA Released

News Release Issued by the 14th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting

Ha Noi, Viet Nam, November 18, 2006 -- APEC Leaders have released a statement on the Doha Development Agenda round of World Trade Organization negotiations.


The text is as follows:

Statement On The Doha Development Agenda Of The WTO

1. We, the APEC Economic Leaders, celebrate Vietnam's accession to the WTO and the completion of a major milestone towards Russia's admission to the WTO. We intend to build on the energy and momentum generated by these historic events to meet the challenges we confront in the Doha Round.

2. We reaffirm our collective and individual commitments to concluding an ambitious and balanced WTO Doha agreement. To meet this goal, we have an urgent need to break the current deadlock and to put the negotiations back on a path towards a timely conclusion. A successful Doha Round will contribute to global economic growth and to the alleviation of poverty. It must do so by creating new trade flows and by effectively addressing the development dimension.

3. APEC economies have a proud tradition of leadership on WTO matters. We are determined to resume without further delay negotiations to achieve a balanced and ambitious outcome that works for all WTO Members. Although agriculture remains the key to resolving the current impasse, we need to build an overall package covering market access for industrial goods and services, rules and trade facilitation.

4. We are ready to break the current deadlock: each of us is committed to moving beyond our current positions in key areas of the Round. That means making deeper reductions in trade-distorting farm support by major players, creating new market access in agriculture, making real cuts in industrial tariffs, and establishing new openings in services trade, while dealing seriously with Members’ concerns and sensitivities. All APEC Members are ready to lead, but others also must signal their readiness and resolve.

5. APEC's future is inextricably linked to a strong and vibrant multilateral trading system. We will remain personally involved to ensure that negotiations are resumed and will ensure the necessary flexibility and ambition to secure a breakthrough. We urge our partners in other regions to be similarly bold and engaged.


APEC Leaders began their annual two-day meeting in Ha Noi this afternoon with an informal retreat that included a meeting with the APEC Business Advisory Council. Leaders will attend a formal dinner in the evening and conclude the meeting tomorrow morning and release the Leaders’ declaration in the afternoon.

The APEC CEO Summit is also taking place during the Leaders’ Meeting and has involved several Leaders delivering speeches and taking part in interactive forums with delegates.

Ends

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