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WTO meet ends with no Doha revival

Ministers wrapped up a three-day World Trade Organization meeting on Saturday with no new direction in sight for the deadlocked Doha Round of negotiations for a global free trade pact.

world Updated: Dec 17, 2011 22:09 IST

Ministers wrapped up a three-day World Trade Organization meeting on Saturday with no new direction in sight for the deadlocked Doha Round of negotiations for a global free trade pact.

The chairman statement at the end of the day is expected to express regret at the impasse.

It would also note that member states needed to "more fully explore different negotiating approaches, and that they should "intensify their efforts to look into ways" to overcome the stalemate.

Further, it is to pledge that negotiations would continue based on the progress that has already been achieved.

Launched a decade ago in the Qatari capital, the Doha Round of negotiations has faltered, as developing and developed countries failed to bridge entrenched positions on cutting farm subsidies and lowering industrial tariffs.

With the talks at a standstill, ministers had arrived in Geneva knowing full well that their three-day meeting was not a negotiating session.

During a press conference, EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht admitted that WTO member states needed to "recognise that our credibility has been seriously damaged by our failure to get Doha off the ground."

"We must make sure that 2012 does not become a 'lost year'. I am ready to take the lead and I look to all my partners to join me," he urged.