The Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, affirmed, Wednesday, January 4, that no agreement will be concluded in the negotiations underway in the World Trade Organization (WTO) as long as the European Union fails to offer more access to its agricultural market.
"In the interests of a fair system of international trade, the European Union should be ready to offer more access to its market for agricultural products. We shall continue to fight for this in the coming months," he said.
Downer said he hopes that European leaders understand that "a great responsibility weighs on their shoulders." According to the Minister, the construction of a better and fairer trade system depends upon them. "Not a trade system designed to benefit the wealthy countries, but a trade system designed to benefit all countries."
The Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, made it clear that market access is the key to the logic behind the current negotiations.
"It is the question that will determine whether or not we will have a virtuous cycle that will lead to a positive outcome. And this basically depends upon the European Union," he declared.
Amorim, pointed out, however, that Brazil’s major interest is not in market access, but rather in the elimination of domestic subsidies granted by developed countries to their producers – a practice that distorts international market prices and is detrimental to the exports of developing countries.