“The results of the Ministerial Conference in Bali are very encouraging after many years of stalemate. This is an important step forward in the global effort to reduce poverty worldwide, and will give a badly needed stimulus to the world economy,” commented Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende on the agreement reached in the World Trade Organization (WTO).
A day later than scheduled and after negotiations that continued through two nights, the WTO members at the 9th Ministerial Conference reached agreement in the early hours of 9 December Norwegian time.
“The most important thing about the success in Bali is that it opens up opportunities to resume negotiations on the core issues in the Doha round: market access for agricultural products, fish, industrial goods, and services, as well as subsidies and updating the WTO rules,” said Mr Brende.
The 160 member countries of the WTO reached agreement on a package of measures to streamline trade that can promote growth and employment throughout the world. It includes several measures that are important for the poorest countries. It also includes a commitment to reduce export subsidies in the agricultural sector, and addresses issues such as tariff quota administration and food security for developing countries, which was the last issue to be settled. The Bali package is part of the Doha Development Agenda negotiation round, which started in 2001 and stalled in 2008.