Brazil Is Setting the Agenda for Trade Between World’s Rich and Poor

Brazilian agriculture Brazil has managed to impose its agenda in the current global trade liberation discussions, says World Trade Organization director Pascal Lamy, who also believes that the Doha Round talks will be finalized in 2008.

"If agriculture has become the number one issue of the Doha Round it's not because the United States, the European Union or Japan like it but rather because the emerging countries imposed it in the agenda," said Paul Lamy in an interview with Folha de S. Paulo during a brief visit to Brazil.

Lamy said that Brazil's strategy in the Doha round has proved "very intelligent because it combines the geopolitical dimension with the comparative advantages of agriculture."

In the same line of thought Lamy said that sooner or later Brazil will become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

"It's a fact that countries such as Brazil, India, South Africa, Indonesia continue to be poor but it's also true that they are far more powerful."

As to the Doha Round talks Lamy said that "my feeling is that we can finish the round sometime in 2008, but my role is to support the process, not talk about deadlines."

Lamy also feels confident that the next United States government will help with trade talks amongst the different blocks so that they reach a positive result.

"The fact that we are at the end of an administration, such as that of George W. Bush is positive since people like to leave their print in history" said Lamy.

Summing up 2007 Lamy felt that "there were good and bad news: the bad news was the collapse of the Group of Four (Brazil, India, US and EU)".

"Emerging countries are absolutely right and having all the needed legitimacy in wanting to rebalance the world of agriculture, as they were on the right track on textiles during the first WTO round."

Meantime from India it was reported that developing countries, led by India and Brazil, had opposed a proposal submitted by the US and the EU at the World Trade Organization (WTO) calling for liberalization of trade in environmental technology.

India and other developing countries have termed the proposal, which calls for two-tier approach to environmental goods and services liberalization, as "disguised protectionism to boost exports by developed countries."

The first tier in the proposal is for goods and services that directly relate to mitigating climate change. As per this 43 goods have been identified as climate friendly by a recent World Bank report on trade and climate change. The second tier is for negotiation of environmental goods and services agreement, which would have a standard tariff reduction formula.

The proposal, however, did not mention the concerns developing countries would have, ranging from damage that will be caused to domestic industry in the need for technology transfer.

India has said there was no point in technology transfer without transfer of intellectual property rights. It also expressed fears that this list of 43 items would be expanded to trade, auto and consumer goods sectors.

Mercopress

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