Southeast Asian nations said on Wednesday that stalled global trade talks must resume before the end of the year, and that a way forward must be forged in agriculture and market access.
"ASEAN believes that WTO members must put the process back on track before the end of 2006, and recognise that necessary breakthroughs in critical negotiations areas of agriculture and non-agriculture market access are needed," the regional bloc said in a statement at economic ministers' talks in Kuala Lumpur.
The faltering World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha trade round was suspended last month amid a bitter dispute between Europe and the US over farm tariffs and subsidies.
Expressing deep concern over the suspension of the trade talks, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) said the multilateral trading system cannot afford a "failure" in the Doha negotiations.
"This suspension has systemic implications on the efficacy of the multilateral trading system and its ability to continue to deliver key benefits in terms of trade liberalisation in goods and services," it said.