- About bilaterals.org
- Feb-2016: New ISDS platform launched
- Sep-2004: Launch announcement
- Feb-2015: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Mar-2013: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Jun-2009: Relaunch of bilaterals.org
- Dec-2008: An update from bilaterals.org and logo design contest announcement
- Dec-2006: bilaterals.org in Spanish & French
- Sep-2006: Update from bilaterals.org
- How to participate
- Key issues
- Texts of agreements
Trade talks need balanced inputs
Business Times, Malaysia
Trade talks need balanced inputs
By Rupa Damodaran
16 March 2011
The fate of the multilateral Doha Round talks to come up with an outline agreement for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by July rests in the hands of both developed and developing economies, said European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.
"If you want to have a result in July, inputs need to come not only from the developed world but also developing countries," De Gucht said.
Now in its 10th year, the final stages of the Doha Development Round of trade negotiations look to pose a make-or-break moment as the key players realise more than ever the need to conclude the negotiations.
"But whether this urge to conclude is equally translated into a genuine sense of urgency that can make a final deal possible (within the time limits) is not so sure," he said during a presentation in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The European Union (EU), he said, was doing its best to get a deal and had pushed for dynamism into the negotiations with the support of the other trade ministers from Brazil, US, China, India, Japan and Australia on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos recently.
"We should try hard to see it through but on the other hand we should also realise that these are difficult negotiations. Since its launch in Doha in 2001, the world has changed dramatically with major emerging economies coming to the fore."
In cases of countries like China, which considers itself a developing economy and still faced with poverty issues, they are also competitors on the economic scene and that make it difficult for discussions.
Saying this opportunity should not be allowed to slip, he said it was important for all to keep the eyes on the prize - the importance of international trade and a global trade deal for developing economies.
De Gucht welcomed Malaysia’s active role in these discussions, especially in the negotiations on industrial products (Nama).
Asked whether the EU itself has lost faith and hope in a multilateral regime like WTO, preferring to chose bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) of late, De Gucht said it has not lost its faith in the WTO and that there was no alternative plan.
"Instead, we have two alleys - one for the Doha Round and another for bilateral and regional FTA. The agreements are deep and do not apply for goods only but also services and procurement.
"They are complementary to the Doha Round as these are topics which will not be decided in the Doha Round at this point."
An FTA with South Korea is in place while negotiations with Singapore and Malaysia are underway. The EU also hopes to commence negotiations with Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.
De Gucht said one of the most important factors in favour of the Doha Round is that the parties concerned should keep the World Trade Organisation intact and strengthen it as it is also a mechanism for settling disputes.
News from the movements
27-May-2016 UNI Global UNIHoy UNI Global UNI y los sindicatos afiliados piden a los gobiernos para organizar con urgencia un debate público democrático sobre los impactos potenciales de Tisa.
25-May-2016 abcBurkinaAujourd’hui, lundi 23 mai 2016, seuls le Nigeria et la Gambie n’ont pas signé cet APE. Est-ce une bonne ou une mauvaise nouvelle ?
25-May-2016 FocusThe Philippine government is hoping the EU-Philippines FTA wil facilitate more tuna exports to the EU, but the industry is riddled with issues of low wages, unfair labor practices, poor and slave-like working conditions.
24-May-2016 TNIThe Philippines has a web of investment treaties which severely constrain the government’s ability to regulate or close polluting mines, a legal straitjacket that will become even tighter if the EU–Philippines Free Trade Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) proceed
23-May-2016 TNIEuropean municipalities join the battle against TTIP to protect sovereignty and public services, demonstrating how to take political initiative and build an alternative economy
20-May-2016 AITECDans l’ombre du traité transatlantique entre l’Union européenne et les États-Unis (TAFTA), les chefs d’États de l’UE pourraient bientôt approuver un accord de commerce et d’investissement tout aussi inquiétant.
20-May-2016 Local FuturesThe Global to Local Webinar Series addresses key issues in the global to local debate.
19-May-2016 S2BA new leak reveals that 5 EU member states are proposing to introduce investor-to-state dispute settlement for all cross-border investments within the EU.
bilaterals.org is a collaborative space to share information and support movements struggling against bilateral trade and investment deals which serve corporations, not people. Multilingual. Global. No one owns it. Open publishing. Get involved.