Following the failure of members to arrive at an approximation (outline) of the outcome of the Hong Kong ministerial (scheduled in December 2005) before the August break, the TNC report said that it is essential that the work be tightly focused on resolving key problems which can unlock progress, and that it be organised in a coherent, flexible and effective way.
The WTO secretariat wants the Doha development round launched in November 2001 to be concluded by the end of 2006. The Hong Kong ministerial is being seen as the milestone which would decide whether the deadline could be adhered to.
The TNC chairman, in his report, identified some key issues which need to be resolved urgently in the area of agriculture, services and special & differential treatment (S&DT).
In agriculture, the urgent need is for convergence on key elements of the structure of the tiered formula for tariff reductions. Progress here would unlock the negotiation on many other issues of vital concern to the members related to market access, he said. Progress is also necessary on the issue of blue box criteria for subsidies and in review and clarification of the green box criteria.
| Trade negotiation panel chief identifies agriculture services and S&DT as key issues |
Progress is necessary on issue of blue box criteria for sops and in review and clarification of green box criteria
For S&DT, the report stated that members needed to ensure that progress is made on all the remaining agreement-specific proposals, especially the LDC (least developed countries) proposals, and that in that context to effectively address the issues of increased flexibility, market access and capacity building for developing countires and LDCs.