Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organisation, has called for renewed vigour on the part of the WTO member countries to successfully conclude the Doha Round of world trade negotiations now that the political differences have narrowed and there is a renewed commitment by member countries to move towards a multilateral agreement for reviving world trade.
In his report to the informal meeting of the Trade Negotiations Committee on 24 July, Lamy said he sensed a sense of purpose at recent trade summits held in Bali, Paris, L'Aquila and Singapore.
He said the contraction in trade arising from the economic crisis appears to be bottoming out with Asia already showing a rebound.
However, Lamy warned against "excessive optimism" as he pointed out that the jobless numbers are still rising and that the political and social impact of rising unemployment has not been fully felt.
The trade contraction seems to be bottoming out, but "it is unclear how and how long it will take us to exit the crisis," he told delegates of the WTO member states.
"Although Asia is starting to see a rebound in trade from the very low figures in the first quarter of the year, I would caution against excessive optimism," he added.