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G-8 COUNTRIES TO RESUME WTO LIBERALIZATION TALKS

G-8 COUNTRIES TO RESUME WTO LIBERALIZATION TALKS

   Leaders of the Group of Eight industrial countries have agreed that a round of multilateral trade negotiations should commence this year.

   Mike Moore, director general of the World Trade Organization, said that he welcomed the statement the G-8 countries’ leaders, who discussed the issue during their high-level meeting in Okinawa, Japan.

   A trade round “offers the best way to ensure balanced negotiations which reflect the interests and concerns of all WTO member governments,” the WTO said.

   Moore said it was vital for Canada, the European Union, Japan and the United States to agree on the way forward in launching such a round, but he warned that agreement among the four “is not sufficient for a successful launch.”

   Such talks must be supported by developing country governments and more flexibility on difficult issues must be shown by all sides, he added.

   Trade and service liberalization talks have been stalled since the failed WTO round of trade talks in Seattle last November.

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