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Sweden's trade minister laments Doha Round collapse

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16:44 CEST+02:00
The Swedish government has called on the WTO parties to take responsibility for continued negotiations after the collapse of the Doha Round of trade talks on Tuesday.

"After the collapse of the WTO talks yesterday, the parties must take their responsibility and think about how the Doha Round can be moved forward. The hope is to be able to resume negotiations in the near future," the Swedish Minister for Trade Dr.Ewa Björling, said on Wednesday.

Björling described the collapse of the Doha Round as "a unique opportunity missed to give the world economy a well-needed vitamin boost in times of disquiet with rising oil and food prices."

The Swedish foreign ministry referred to EU statistics which indicate that a successful completion of the Doha Round would add €100-120 billion to annual global income. This would translate into €165 per household per year in the EU.

The ministry also underlined that the purpose of the Doha Round "is to enable developing countries to become better integrated into the world trade system."

"In light of the collapse of the WTO talks it is even more important that we finalize the EPA agreements between the EU and countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific as soon as possible," Dr. Björling said.

The Doha Round was opened in 2001 and involves the 153 member states of the WTO. The WTO has not yet stated its intentions with regard to continuing the process, which could be delayed for several years.

The Swedish government stated its commitment to the WTO and global free trade.

"It's important that we uphold the multilateral system for trade liberalization. The Swedish Government will continue to work intensively for freer world trade within the WTO framework."

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