Beijing
Spain: WTO meeting in Cancun not meant for "final agreement"
www.chinaview.cn 2003-09-09 09:08

  MADRID, Sept. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- The goal for the upcoming WTO ministerial meeting in Cancun, Mexico, is to iron out negotiation methods other than "a final agreement," said Spanish First Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Rodrigo Rato.

  In a statement to the press, Rato said on Monday that the meeting, the fifth of its kind, will be a success.

  Delegates from 146 WTO members, who are gathering in Cancun from Sept. 10 to Sept. 14, must assess the implementation of the agreements reached at the conference in Doha, Qatar, in 2001, including those on agriculture and medicine access, Rato said.

  He said that there is need to establish negotiation criteria.

  The Spanish minister said that the European Union (EU) has a "firm yet generous" position on agriculture to facilitate the negotiations.

  Nonetheless, he insisted that it is necessary to define the numbers in regard to subsidy reduction.

  WTO, he added, must agree in Mexico on the degree of reduction of the so-called "amber case" (assistance related to production and the maintenance of prices) and the "blue case" (assistance related to production cuts), and decide modifications to the criteria for the "green case" (assistance for environmental protection and regional development).

  The WTO ministerial conference will also have to analyze tariffcuts, subsidy reduction in exports and non-trade considerations related to agriculture.

  As for non-agricultural products, Rato said, the goal is to reduce trade and non-trade barriers, but with a special generosity toward developing countries. Enditem


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