labels: world trade organisation, trade
WTO meet in Cancun begins news
Our Economy Bureau
11 September 2003

Cancun: The fifth ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation began yesterday with WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi calling on ministers to show "flexibility and understanding" to reach an agreement that will take the Doha round of trade negotiations forward to a successful conclusion in January.

The choice before the meeting, Supachai said, was either "to strengthen the multilateral trading system or flounder" and "add to the prevailing uncertainties." Mexico President Vicente Fox, who also spoke at the opening function, made similar appeals to ministers assembled for the five-day meeting that ends on 14 September.

While the plenary session continues with speeches by ministers, the real work on negotiating a ministerial declaration will take place simultaneously in informal, small groups. ''Friends of the Chair'' have been appointed to deal with the most difficult issues.

 

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WTO meet in Cancun begins