On Friday and Saturday, September 9 and 10, Amorim, coordinated ministerial meetings of the Group of 20. On the agenda, the bloc’s agricultural negotiating strategies for the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Doha Round, in preparation for the WTO’s Sixth Ministerial Meeting, scheduled for December, in Hong Kong.
According to information furnished by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations (Itamaraty), on the first day the meetings, Amorim commented on the central role of the G-20 in the Doha Round, emphasizing that the united action altered the content and format of the negotiations.
The G-20 was founded in August, 2003, during the preparatory phase of the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the WTO, in Cancun, Mexico, to defend the mutual interests of developing countries with regard to agricultural issues.
The group has presently 19 members: five from Africa – South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe; six from Asia – China, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Thailand; and eight from Latin America – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Paraguay and Venezuela.
The G-20 represents 13% of the global GDP (Gross Domestic Product, that is, the sum of all goods and services produced by a country or group of countries) and 21% of the global agricultural GDP, 57% of the world’s population, and 70% of the world’s agricultural population.
It also accounts for 26% of world agricultural exports and 62% of global sugar production, 50% of global coffee production, 62% of global soybean production, 54% of global cotton production, 72% of global rice production, and 70.5% of global tobacco production.
Brazilian victories in the WTO against US cotton subsidies and European sugar subsidies were cited by the Pakistani minister of Commerce at the opening of the meeting.
He also mentioned the importance of the union among developing countries in combating distortions in the way agriculture is treated in the sphere of international commerce, and he underscored the role played by Brazil and India in coordinating the work of the G-20, which has led to positive results.
According to the Itamaraty, at a private meeting with the Pakistani Prime Minister, Amorim delivered a letter from President Lula, expressed gratitude for the visit by Pakistani president, Pervez Musharraf, to Brazil last year, and examined areas of potential bilateral cooperation, such as ethanol and aviation.
Minister Amorim is the first high Brazilian government official to visit Pakistan in 20 years. Since the visit by the Pakistani president to Brazil last November, official and business contacts between the two countries have become more intense. According to the Itamaraty, there are prospects for negotiating an agreement between Pakistan and the Mercosur.
Minister Amorim will take advantage of being in Pakistan to meet with president Pervez Musharraf and Foreign Minister, Kurshid M. Kusuri, for discussions on bilateral cooperation in energy, ethanol and aviation.
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