Doha Round has 60 percent chance of success: British minister

April 24th, 2008 - 9:46 pm ICT by admin  

By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, April 24 (IANS) Stalled for months, the Doha round of world trade talks has a 60 percent chance of concluding successfully by the end of the year, Britain’s minister for international trade said Thursday. “Very significant issues need to be resolved, but we are closer to a deal now than at any other point for many years,” Gareth Thomas said at a briefing for bankers organised by Deutsche Bank.

“There has been significant progress in [talks on] agriculture and Non-Agriculture Market Access,” he added.

He said Pascal Lamy, director general of the Geneva-based World Trade Organisation, and India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath are optimistic that a deal can be struck by the end of the year.

Thomas, who met Kamal Nath Monday at a UN trade meeting in Accra, Ghana, said negotiators are looking at starting talks in the week beginning May 19.

“Every nation and bloc of nations is working to that timetable,” he said after his briefing on trade relations between India and the European Union.

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