|CARICOM trade ministers in crucial talks with WTO Director General|
|Published on Thursday, April 12, 2007|
By Gordon French
GEORGETOWN, Guyana: Regional trade ministers will begin a two-day meeting in Kingston, Jamaica with Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to find new ways to re-start suspended global free trade talks global free trade talks.
A statement from CARICOM Secretariat here said that the regional team will be led by Secretary General, Edwin Carrington, with participation from the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
The WTO Director-General is hoping for a full resumption of the collapsed Doha Development Round of negotiations. To this end he has been consulting with Trade Ministers across the globe. Guyana’s Foreign Trade Minister, Henry Jeffery told Caribbean Net News before departing for the meeting, that a window of opportunity was being presented to region to openly express their concerns about the stalled Doha talks.
"We are hoping for those talks to be resumed, especially since this round of negotiations is expected to benefit the developing nations. The countries of CARICOM fall into this category," Minister Jeffery stated.
The Doha Development Round of World Trade Organization negotiations aim to lower trade barriers around the world, permitting free trade between countries of varying prosperity. Talks have stalled over a divide between the developed nations led by the European Union, the United States and Japan and, the major developing countries, led and represented mainly by India, Brazil, China and South Africa.
The Doha round began with a ministerial-level meeting in Doha, Qatar in 2001.
According to the CARICOM Secretariat, the WTO Director General and Ministers will discuss the current state of WTO negotiations, the Caribbean’s goals and concerns in the negotiation process, and related issues.