ICCA says urgent action needed on Doha trade talks

26 June 2006 17:45  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--The chemical industry added its voice on Monday to a growing chorus calling for agreement on agriculture and non-agriculture market access at this week’s Doha round of trade talks in Geneva.

“Agreement on agriculture and non-agricultural market access modalities is essential to moving the Doha round forward and to keeping governments focused on achieving the broadest, most ambitious possible liberalisation of global trade,” the international Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) said.

Continued delays have compromised the WTO’s credibility to achieve the ambitious market opening result the Doha round promised for all developed and developing countries, it added.

“If multilateral trade liberalisation does not succeed in the Doha round, ICCA fears that governments will be forced to heed domestic protectionist voices and focus only on bilateral trade agreements (FTAs) that may exclude important trade flows and bypass smaller developing countries,” said Alain Perroy, director general of European trade group Cefic and ICCA secretary.

“Additionally, the proliferation of bilateral trade agreements will create an increasingly complex web of non-harmonised rules of origin, which undermines the tariff benefits of FTAs,” he added.

The ICCA noted that the necessary compromises could be made so that a “successful and comprehensive” Doha round agreement can be concluded by the end of this year.

Ministers from more 50 countries, about a third of the WTO’s membership, meet in Geneva this week.

By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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