Bali Package energizes deadlocked Doha Round negotiations

Bali Package energizes deadlocked Doha Round negotiations

BALI  - Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan has said that the Bali Package agreed to in the 9th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Meeting in Bali has given countries energy and a new belief to end deadlocks in Doha Round negotiations.

"The agreement was reached because the WTO member countries focused not only on their own national interests but also common interests," he said in a written statement in Jakarta on Sunday, as quoted by Antara news agency.

Gita said the 9th WTO ministerial meeting in Bali was a success as it produced a package that would bring about food security for billions of poor people worldwide.

He further said the WTO had also agreed to a trade facilitation agreement that would channel up to US$1 trillion to the world's economy.

"We have also agreed on basic initiatives to help least developed countries to take more benefits from the multilateral trade system," said Gita.

The minister said it was only after many hours of intense negotiations that WTO ministers attending the meeting finally agreed to provide flexibility for developing countries in implementing food security programs.

Gita said the trade facilitation agreement was the first multilateral agreement negotiated in the WTO.

"This will reduce barriers to trade costs, smooth flow of goods between countries, and give a certainty to business sector," he said.

Moreover, the minister added, the agreement would also be exceptionally beneficial for WTO member countries, in particular developing countries, in obtaining access to assistances to improve their production systems and procedures.

Gita said he was sure that most economic benefits as a result of the trade facilitation would be experienced by developing countries. (ebf)

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