The Hon. Mark Vaile, MP
The Hon. Mark Vaile, MP

Media release

28 February 2005 - MVT12/2005

Vaile Pushing for Progress on DOHA Round in Kenya

Trade Minister Mark Vaile will push Australia's desire for wide-ranging cuts to international trade barriers, particularly in agriculture, at a meeting of trade and economic ministers in Africa this week.

Mr Vaile will join thirty-five World Trade Organisation ministers at a meeting in Mombasa, Kenya 2-4 March to discuss a series of initiatives aimed at progressing the current Doha Round of world trade negotiations.

"As chair of the Cairns Group, Australia has a key leadership role in these discussions and I will be encouraging ministers in Kenya to build on the political commitment and energy shown by them at a meeting in Davos, Switzerland in January.

"These meetings are critical if we are to build the momentum required to achieve meaningful outcomes this year. We agreed in Davos that ministers need to focus on five key areas in the negotiations," Mr Vaile said.

These include:

"I and my ministerial counterparts, including those from the EU and US, will use the Kenyan meeting to decide what action needs to be taken in these five specific areas to move each negotiation forward," Mr Vaile said.

"At Davos we set ourselves a July deadline to come up with first drafts of possible final texts and I am determined to meet this timeframe."

Mr Vaile said developing country issues would also be a priority for discussion at the meeting. Australia is committed to assisting developing countries to participate fully in the Doha Round and in helping them to implement its results.

"The WTO Doha Round remains Australia's top trade priority. I am committed to working as hard as I can throughout this process to ensure we get a result that delivers real opportunities for Australia," Mr Vaile said.

Contact: Mr Vaile's office 02 6277 7420 - DFAT Media Liaison 02 6261 1555

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