Trade Minister Craig Emerson today arrives in Paris, where he is vice-chair of the annual Ministerial Council Meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Delegates to the three-day meeting and forum will address topics such as the world economy, growth in Asia, global value chains, trade liberalisation and OECD engagement with developing nations.
Dr Emerson will also use the event to chair a meeting with the World Trade Organization (WTO), Indonesia, Japan, the United States, the European Union, India, China, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Norway, Chile, New Zealand, Turkey and South Africa – among others – to continue looking at how to break the impasse in the stalled Doha Round of WTO negotiations.
He will meet separately with Ministers from a number of these countries to discuss WTO and other issues.
Dr Emerson will be urging agreement for a package of reforms in time for December’s WTO Ministerial meeting in Bali.
Any package for Bali should encompass an agreement on trade facilitation – making it easier to move goods in and out of countries – as well as on agriculture and development.
Dr Emerson, who has long proposed focusing on areas of the WTO negotiations where agreement is possible, said a deal on trade facilitation alone would deliver 44 per cent of the total benefits of the Doha Round.
“Success in Bali is essential to further trade liberalisation, assisting developing countries and strengthening the multilateral trading system,” he said.
While in Paris, Dr Emerson will also be encouraging closer engagement with the main non-OECD economies, including those in Asia.
He will highlight Australia’s close ties with Asia, and Government plans to broaden and deepen these through the initiatives and policies set out in the White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century.
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