World Trade Organization (WTO)

WTO Doha Round Bulletin

Week ending 29 October 2004 (Issue 2004/37)

Key Issues

Coherence in economic policy-making

The importance of coherence in economic policy-making was the subject of a special address to the WTO General Council on 22 October. The President of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, and the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Rodrigo de Rato, addressed WTO Members on the scope for greater cooperation between the three institutions in promoting and implementing the Doha Development Agenda.

Mr Wolfensohn's main message was that the Doha negotiations were a key ingredient in the international economic policy and development framework. The experiences of the past 20 years showed that trade liberalisation was a force for poverty reduction and development - but greater liberalisation was needed. Agricultural trade reform was critical to the future success of developing countries. The World Bank recognised that the next round of trade reform would impose adjustment costs on some developing countries, but the Bank was ready to provide assistance.

Mr de Rato outlined the IMF's role in supporting the implementation of trade liberalisation, including through the new Trade Integration Mechanism (TIM). The TIM was designed to assist developing countries concerned about the short-term costs of trade liberalisation. In July this year, Bangladesh became the first country to obtain funding under the TIM, to help address the expected pressure on its balance of payments of the forthcoming phase-out of textiles quotas.

The WTO and IMF presentations are available on the WTO website at www.wto.org/english/news.

ABARE meeting of trade negotiators and analysts

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) is hosting a special conference for international trade negotiators and trade analysts in Canberra on 3-4 November 2004. The invitation-only event is designed to stimulate discussion of the role of economic analysis in agricultural trade reform. The July framework agreement in the Doha Round provides a critical opportunity to move forward in the agriculture negotiations. Strengthening our efforts to demonstrate the benefits of agricultural trade liberalisation to other WTO Members is one way that Australia can contribute to strong outcome.

The conference will be attended by trade negotiators and economists from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand and Uruguay.

Forthcoming meetings in Geneva

NOVEMBER

1 Workshop on HS2002 transposition

1 Informal Open-ended Negotiating Group on Rules

2-3 Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade - Special Meeting

3 Committee on Trade and Development - Dedicated Session

3 Working Party on the Accession of Kazakhstan

3 Negotiating Group on Rules

4 Seminar on Accessions

4 Committee on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures - Special Meeting

4 Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade

Contact Us

Trade Policy Section
Office of Trade Negotiations
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
BARTON ACT 0221
Fax: (02) 6261 3514
or e-mail trade.consult@dfat.gov.au

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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