Expressing concern over the chilling effects of trade barriers imposed by certain countries, World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy on Thursday expressed the hope that the Delhi Ministerial meeting would be the beginning of the endgame which could lead to possible conclusion of the Doha Round for a global trade agreement.

Delivering a special address on “Trade in the Current Global Economic Environment: Making the case for Multilateral Cooperation,” organised by the FICCI, Mr. Lamy said the WTO had been closely monitoring trade policy developments. “We have seen an increase in restrictive trade measures since the onset of the global financial crisis. There is no room for complacency. While I do not think we are in a situation where we need to cry wolf, we need to remain vigilant and ensure that WTO members remain open with one another.”

“Most efficient means”

Mr. Lamy said whether it was about generating market access for goods and services through the reduction of obstacles to trade or levelling the playing field in trade distorting subsidies, or providing predictability and transparency to trade, or facilitating trade, the most efficient means to achieve these goals today remained the multilateral Doha Development Round. “I hope Delhi [informal meeting] can be the beginning of the endgame of the Doha Round.”

It was only through a trade-opening global agreement that issues such as distorting subsidies or generating market access could be addressed, the WTO chief emphasised.

The WTO economists had foreseen a decline this year of nearly 10 per cent global trade in volume, he said.

RELATED NEWS

Break in WTO impasse; talks to resume on Sept 14September 4, 2009

More In: Business | News | National