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Trade talks to advance Doha Round, fight protectionism

Trade talks to advance Doha Round, fight protectionism article image

Minister for Trade Simon Crean will today conclude the three-day talks held in Bali, Indonesia, which have covered everything from the global recession to trade protectionism. Nineteen agricultural trading nations are part of the Cairns Group, with the Ministerial Meeting - chaired by Crean and hosted by Indonesian Trade Minister Dr Mari Pangestu - also including special guests such as US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma, and WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy. This year, the meeting covered world trade talks, which Crean hopes will "provide the opportunity and momentum to conclude the Doha Round", and protectionism as two of its biggest issues. "This meeting will send a strong political message on the need to fight protectionism and conclude World Trade Organisation negotiations," said Crean. "Only concluding the Doha Round can eradicate market-distorting subsidies such as dairy export subsidies that have re-emerged this year." He added that the high level meeting would be "an opportunity to send a strong message about the importance of trade as an economic stimulus at this time of global economic downturn".

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