World Trade Organization (WTO)

WTO Doha Round Bulletin

Week ending 1 October 2004 (Issue 2004/33)

Key Issues

Technical work on agriculture

The Chair of the WTO Agricultural Negotiations, Tim Groser, held meetings with delegations in Geneva last week to discuss the next phase of the negotiations on agriculture. Delegations were encouraged to begin work on the technical issues related to the negotiations. Australia has commenced discussions with its Cairns Group partners regarding work on technical issues. In order to maintain the momentum of the negotiations, it is important that such work begin promptly, particularly given the large number of complex issues that will need to be addressed. The next Special Session of the Committee on Agriculture will be held from 6-8 October in Geneva.

Progress on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS)

The WTO's Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) Council met in Geneva from 21-22 September. The TRIPS Special Session met on 23 September to continue negotiations on developing a multilateral register for geographical indications for wines and spirits. The Joint Proposal, co-sponsored by Australia and other 'new world wine group' Members, for a voluntary, non-burdensome system that does not undermine national governments' rights to decide how best to protect wines and spirits, was restated.

On an administrative matter, Mr Joshua Law, the former Chair of the TRIPS Council, has returned to his capital to take up another appointment. The Chairman of the General Council of the WTO is consulting with delegations with a view to announcing a new Chair soon. Ambassador Puangrat Asavapisit of Thailand acted as interim Chair for this meeting.

Forthcoming meetings in Geneva


5-8 Committee on Government Procurement

7-8 Committee on Regional Trade Agreements

11 Trade Policy Review Body - Norway

11-13 Textiles Monitoring Body

11-12 Working Party on the Accession of Sudan

12-13 Committee on Trade and Environment - Special Session

13 Trade Policy Review Body - Norway

14-15 Committee on Trade and Environment

15 Committee on Rules of Origin

18 Dispute Settlement Body

19 Committee of Participants on the Expansion of Trade in Information Technology Products

20-21 General Council

22 Committee on Rules of Origin

Contact Us

Trade Policy Section
Office of Trade Negotiations
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Fax: (02) 6261 3514
or e-mail

This bulletin is issued by the Office of Trade Negotiations, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It summarises key WTO Doha Round-related activities over the past week.

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