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What now for the “Bali package”?

Last updated: 28.11.2013 // At a General Council meeting the 26th of November, the WTO Director General Roberto Azevêdo informed the member states that the last weeks of around-the-clock negotiations in Geneva has brought the WTO close to a successful outcome on a new multilateral trade deal, but that the finish line is still not reached.

The aim was that the negotiations on a “balanced Bali package” containing an agreement on trade facilitation and some elements of agriculture and development should be concluded in time for next week’s 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia.

At the meeting the Director General expressed concerns that further negotiations in Geneva would lead to backtracking rather than progress. However, he will spend the next days talking to key members and contacting ministers in a last attempt to reach consensus on a deal. 

Read Azevêdo’s full statement here.

In his statement to the general council, Norway’s ambassador Harald Neple stressed that it is time for the members to face up to their responsibility and agree on a Bali package. The time available before the ministerial should be used to this end, with the Director General acting as a facilitator.  The ambassador also underlined that agreeing on a Bali package would open up the possibility to continue after Bali with the core areas of the Doha Development Agenda; i.e. development, market access for industrial products, agriculture and services.

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