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WTO talks: Brazil, US and EU hold discussions

The projections are an effort to break the impasses that have stalled World Trade Organisation talks.

india Updated: Apr 02, 2006 09:19 IST

The United States, the European Union and Brazil agreed to draw up detailed forecasts of what would happen if rich countries agreed to demands from poorer nations to lower trade barriers and subsidies.

The projections are an effort to break the impasses that have stalled World Trade Organisation talks.

US Trade Representative Rob Portman, WTO Director General Pascal Lamy, EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson and Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim agreed on the plan during two days of informal talks, which ended on Saturday.

Portman said it was important to conclude the 'Doha round' of WTO negotiations, which stalled as poor nations demanded lower trade barriers and rich nations sought greater access to markets in the developing world for their manufactured products and services.

"This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, once every 10 or 15 years, to reduce barriers to trade globally," Portman said at a news conference.

The forecasts, called simulations, will give countries an idea of how regulation changes would affect trade, he said.

"We have agreed to have senior officials in Geneva carry out simulations in nine or 10 areas," Portman said.

Launched in the Qatari capital of Doha in 2001, the WTO talks set out to boost the global economy and lift millions out of poverty by lowering trade barriers. The WTO, based in Geneva, has a self-imposed April 30 deadline.

"There is a possibility of agreeing by the end of April," Mandelson said. "We don't have the contours of a deal but we're not looking at an empty canvas, either."