Brazil Tells the World: We're Not Giving Up WTO's Doha Round

Brazilian Minister Celso Amorim The South American bloc Mercosur and the European Union reaffirmed their commitment to reach a wide ranging agreement - in spite of stalled negotiations, and to push for the conclusion of the World Trade Organization, WTO, Doha Round talks.

Brazilian Foreign minister Celso Amorim who visited Brussels for political and trade talks said that Mercosur and EU "have similar views in many international issues" and mentioned as examples the G-20 group and the EU-Brazil strategic association.

Amorim met with the European Commission president José Manuel Barroso and with the EU foreign affairs commissar Benita Ferrero Waldner.

"We addressed the Mercosur-EU agreement and the importance of continuing talks to make quick advances in the field, as well as the Doha Round, which is a bit difficult currently but we're not going to give up," said Amorim following a meeting with Ferrero Waldner.

"There's an overwhelming consensus that between Brazil and the EU the Doha round must be concluded," he said although admitting that during the high level meetings specifics were not addressed.

Amorim said that the Doha round faces "political difficulties but also political reasons to arrive to a successful culmination. However if we concentrate in small disputes, we won't make it. But if leaders concentrate in what really matters for the world economy, if that was the focus, there are chances."

The Doha Round negotiations in the WTO framework and launched in 2001, remain stalled with multiple disagreements between developed countries on the one side, and developing countries on the other.

As to Mercosur talks, they have been frozen since 2004 because of differences in the farm, services and industrial goods chapters, and depend greatly on what happens at the Doha Round.

Last week the EU and United States released a joint statement calling for the quick conclusion of the Doha Round, "as soon as possible" and to fight protectionist tendencies.

However and is spite of the good will, according to Amorim there's no date for a possible resumption of WTO talks following the ministerial meeting failure last July 2008 in Geneva.

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