Low expectations at world trade talks

Trade ministers from 149 countries sat down for global trade talks today, in Hong Kong, flanked by anti-globalisation protests outside. Trade ministers from 149 countries sat down for global trade talks today, in Hong Kong, flanked by anti-globalisation protests outside. Hong Kong is playing host to the sixth Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) – what the WTO calls an “important staging post” on going world trade talks.

Trade delegations from all over the world are trying to agree on a range of trade topics to finish this round of trade talks, by end of next year.

The current round of trade talks – the Doha Development Agenda – started in 2001 to further liberalise world trade in agriculture, industrial goods and services and to agree on new international trading rules.

Better or Worse

UNCTAD (the UN Conference on Trade and Development) estimates that opening up goods and services markets will increase trade earnings by US$ 310 billion per year and that at least half of the money will end up in developing country pockets.

The WTO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and D