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Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations – the main topic of the informal meeting of trade ministers

Last night Andrej Vizjak, Minister of the Economy of the Republic of Slovenia, chaired the informal meeting of the EU Member States' trade ministers. The discussions, held during an informal dinner, focused in particular on the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations.

Minister Vizjak pointed out that the negotiations need to proceed successfully, as the so-called "window" is an opportunity subject to serious time limitations. He further said that "a breakthrough in trade negotiations would raise confidence in the world economy, which is currently undergoing a financial shake-up and facing increasing environmental problems, and would bring new guidelines and incentives for the solution of these problems".

As the new versions of texts on agriculture and industrial products and services submitted in February are not satisfactory, yesterday's discussion was urgently needed. The General Affairs and External Relations Council, meeting in Brussels today, also adopted conclusions related to this topic and thus confirmed the importance of achieving a comprehensive, ambitious and final outcome in all areas of the Doha Development Agenda. The Council reaffirmed its commitment to reaching a positive outcome of the negotiations, which would not only comply with the EU objectives but also with the needs and interests of developing countries.

According to the French Ambassador to Brussels, Pierre Sallal, the Slovenian Presidency achieved great success by adopting the Council conclusions. They are the first conclusions since 2005 adopted in respect of the World Trade Organisation.

At the informal meeting, the trade ministers also discussed the trade and energy issue.


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Date: 10.03.2008