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Lamy outlines focus for WTO

Lamy outlines focus for WTO

   The World Trade Organization's two-term chief said the trade body must do even more in the coming years to open domestic markets to international trade.

   'We are living in a time of crisis,' said Pascal Lamy, the WTO's director general, in a speech late last week. 'Its full social impact is still to come and it will inevitably create political pressures. And it is precisely now, when protectionist temptations abound, that the value of the multilateral trading system is all the more apparent to us.

   'The GATT-WTO system of global trade rules patiently constructed over the last 60 years is first and foremost a provider of confidence for economic operators. And, as the crisis has shown, confidence is today the missing link to bring the world back onto a path of growth,' he said.

   On April 30, Lamy was elected to a second term as director general by WTO General Council, effective Sept. 1. Lamy has served as WTO head since September 2005.

   He said it's now his goal to 'strengthen the role of the WTO as the global trade body. This means making the WTO more development friendly, more 'user friendly,' so that its benefits are felt by all, large and small, rich and poor, strong and weak.'

   The WTO will particularly focus on improving its 'negotiations, implementation, coherence, and outreach,' Lamy said.

   Lamy's entire speech to the WTO General Council is available here.

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