In the judgment of the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, the mutual understanding between Brazil and Australia had great importance for the results achieved at the 6th Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO), held in Hong Kong from December 13-18.
Another point mentioned by Amorim was the approximation between the G20, the group of 21 nations that call for reducing agricultural subsidies, and the Cairns Group, which is composed of 19 agricultural export countries.
Negotiations to eliminate agricultural export subsidies and open markets to products from developing countries were other matters discussed, Wednesday, January 4, at a work meeting in Brasília between Amorim and Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer.
"We discussed the importance of quickly reaching a agreement in the framework of the Doha Round," Amorim commented at the end of the meeting.
According to the Brazilian Minister, Australia and Brazil concur that the advances made so far in the Doha Round – launched three years ago in the capital of Qatar with the intention of becoming the development round – are disappointing, but "they are important and point in the right direction."
In Hong Kong the 149 WTO member countries established 2013 as the date for the total of elimination of agricultural export subsidies, which distort international market prices.
During the Hong Kong ministerial summit, Brazil and Australia promoted closer ties between the Cairns Group, to which Brazilian and Australia belong, and the G20, which is led by Brazil and India.
Two days before the conference ended, the 27 members of the Cairns Group and the G20, which, together, represent over half the world’s population, issued a joint note reaffirming that agriculture is the driving force behind the current round and putting pressure on the European Union and the United States to get on with the negotiations.