Skip to main content

Developing Countries: Trade

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects the next proposed World Trade Organisation Ministerial meeting on the Doha Development Agenda to take place; and if he will make a statement. (244134)

[holding answer 16 December 2008]: No timing has been set for a ministerial meeting in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA). The possibility of such a meeting in December 2008 did not materialise and now further consultations will be needed, including with the new US Administration, before the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General is likely to be able to propose a new timetable for negotiations.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and other Ministers have worked tirelessly in support of a DDA deal and the Government’s determination to work for fairer trade rules remains undimmed. Early conclusion of the DDA remains a top priority and we will continue to work closely with the WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, the European Commission and EU partners to secure a deal. The revised negotiating texts on agriculture and industrial goods issued in December captured the key aspects of the progress made at the July WTO ministerial. We must now build on this, bridging the few remaining gaps to reach agreement. In the meantime, we urge WTO members to resist resorting to protectionism.