World Trade Organization (WTO)

WTO Doha Round Bulletin

Week ending 26 November 2004 (Issue 2004/41)

Key Issues

Special Session on Agriculture 15-19 November

A Special Session of the Committee on Agriculture was held in Geneva in the week 15-19 November. The negotiations took place in three settings:

Outcomes

Although technical-level discussions are still at an early stage, some progress was made including on export credits, methodologies for ad valorem equivalents, and in the initial exchange on TRQ administration.

Other highlights

Members reached agreement on the terms of reference for a sub-committee on cotton, to be chaired by NZ Ambassador Tim Groser (Chairman of the Agriculture Special Session).

Da tes for the WTO Agriculture Committee Special Sessions in Geneva from now until mid-2005 were also announced. The next meeting is scheduled for December 13-17, and is likely to cover market access issues including the tariff reduction formula and a list of related subjects such as 'sensitive' and 'special' products .

In 2005, meetings are scheduled to be held on February 7-11, March 14-18, April 15-15, April 18-19, May 30-June 3, and July 11-15.

APEC Leaders' Statement on Doha Round

At the APEC meeting in Santiago on 20-21 November, APEC leaders released a statement giving strong support to the Doha Round. In the 'Santiago Declaration', APEC leaders reaffirmed the primacy of the multilateral trading system and pledged their leadership in continuing the momentum created by the July Framework Package.

The APEC leaders agreed to aim for an ambitious final outcome in the Doha Round, including "substantially greater market access and fewer distortions". They will instruct their Trade Ministers to seek "substantial results" at the WTO Ministerial Meeting in Hong Kong in December 2005. The statement called for a renewed sense of urgency in the negotiations in order to meet this goal.

The statement also emphasised the need for flexibility in meeting the needs of developing countries. APEC members agreed to redouble their efforts to provide technical assistance and capacity building to enable developing countries to participate fully as WTO members.

The full text of the APEC Economic Leaders' statement.

Forthcoming meetings in Geneva

NOVEMBER

29 Trade Policy Review Body - Brazil

29 Council for Trade in Services - Special Session

29 Committee on Balance of Payments

30 Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights - Special Session

30 Working Party on the Accession of Yemen

30 Council for Trade in Services

DECEMBER

1 Trade Policy Review Body - Brazil

1-2 Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights

2 Integrated Framework Steering Committee

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

3 Council for Trade in Service - Special Session

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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