US and the UK have expressed their optimism over the long-delayed global trade
agreement by the members of the World Trade Organisation.
minister Gordon Brown of the UK said at a joint news conference with President
George Bush at the Camp David Presidential retreat in Maryland yesterday that
the two leaders were unanimous in seeking an early conclusion to a trade agreement.
Brown said that
they had agreed to step up contact between leaders so that an agreement could
be finalised quickly in the near future.
said he had spoken with leaders including the EU president Jose Manuel Barroso,
Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, prime minister Manmohan Singh and
World Trade Organisation boss Pascal Lamy.
Brazil, Europe and the United States have been among the leading protagonists
in the WTO''s Doha round.
George Bush said that Brown had brought some interesting suggestions on moving
ahead with the talks. "He''s optimistic that we can conclude the Doha round,
as am I,'''' Bush said. He also said that the British PM understood "that if
poverty had to be eradicated, it was important to ensure the success of the Doha
previous trade talks, the Doha round was launched to enable the poorer nations
more fruitful role in the global economy.
the West has maintained that a world trade agreement enable progress to a more
open, global trading economy, its collapse would lead to a retreat into protectionism,
critics, including aid and advocacy group Oxfam, say rich nations must stop treating
development-friendly policies as a concession.
Romero, Oxfam International''s policy director, said in a statement, "Development
should be front and centre in these talks, otherwise the resulting deal will not
help to reduce poverty.''''