Trade Minister attends World Economic Forum

Media release

20 January 2011

Trade Minister Craig Emerson will next week attend the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting and Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders in Davos, Switzerland.

Minister Emerson said the focus of his programme in Davos would be meetings with his ministerial counterparts to generate further political momentum aimed at concluding the WTO Doha Round in 2011.

"In November last year, the talks held by G20 and APEC Leaders demonstrated that there is a level of political will to conclude the World Trade Organisation's Doha Round," Dr Emerson said.

"They provided clear direction that the Doha Round is in the end game, and they handed the baton to Trade Ministers and negotiators."

Dr Emerson said the World Economic Forum was regarded internationally as a forum that can shape global political, social and economic agendas through frank exchanges of views about how to boost future growth and trade flows.

"We need to take advantage of this window of opportunity in 2011 to finish the Doha Round and consolidate the defences built up against protectionism," Dr Emerson said.

To this end, the Minister has been invited to an informal dinner to be attended by Trade Ministers from Brazil, China, the European Union, India, Japan and the United States.

Though not a negotiation, the gathering provides an opportunity to explore possible ways of kick-starting the stalled Doha Round.

Dr Emerson will also hold a series of one-to-one meetings with a number of key ministers and leaders, including US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht, Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota, US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the WTO.

He will also attend an informal meeting of around 20 trade ministers hosted by the Swiss Federal Councillor of Economic Affairs.

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