Developing countries urge Doha Round conclusion

GENEVA, November 29, 2009 (AFP) – Over 100 developing countries called Sunday for an “urgent” conclusion of negotiations for a world trade liberalisation pact, a day before a key World Trade Organisation ministerial conference. “The ministers of the G20 called for urgent action on the Doha Round,” according to a statement issued by G20 major developing countries led by India and Brazil, and endorsed by the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, the African group as well as the Least Developed Countries.

Launched in the Qatari capital in 2001, the Doha Round aims at lifting developing countries out of poverty by striking an accord that will cut agriculture subsidies and tariffs on industrial goods.

However, negotiations have been dogged by disagreements on how much major trading blocs such as the United States and the European Union should reduce aid to their farmers and the extent to which developing countries such as India, China and South Africa should lower tariffs on industrial products.

“There is urgent need to translate political statements into concrete engagements in Geneva in order to accomplish the shared objective of concluding the Round in 2010,” said the statement issued after a meeting between