13.04.2010 Business & Finance

Countries urged to inject political capital into investment negotiations

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Hohoe, April 12, GNA - Dr. Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organisation said countries needed to put in significant political capital to conclude investment negotiations even if the gains at the end were modest.

He said in a globalised situation, countries simply could not go their own way to the neglect of international cooperation.

Dr Lamy was speaking at the Trades Negotiations Committee meeting recently held at San Jose, Costa Rica, and made available to the Ghana News Agency by the Centre for International Trade, Economics and Environment (CUTS CITEE) a global Civil Society Organisation promoting pro-trade and pro-equity development in the developing world in the wake of trade liberalisation.

He indicated that 2010 was a make or break year for the Doha Round and that the initial euphoria of many members waned as far back as August 2003, when the United States and the European Union brought forward a small package on agriculture for Cancun, Mexico.

Dr Lamy said negotiations have clearly waned and were still in "intensive care," being watched carefully and with great anxiety.

He said despite the anxiety of nations about the sustainability of negotiations, some significant technical work had been accomplished in the last few years with geographical indications.

Dr Lamy said non-tariff barriers would be a major agenda in the future with progress being made on market access for industrial goods.

In the same vein, he said scheduling of agricultural tariffs was progressing while the contentious issues of cotton and special safeguard mechanisms in agriculture were having some forward movements.

Dr Lamy said such progress on technical issues could not have been possible without the investment of significant political capital by nations and the leveraging of collaborative synergies.

"By this, we would be able to send a strong signal to the outside world and focus the political energy that was needed to move the Doha Round into the concluding phase," he added.


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