World Bank president urges G8 to break global trade barriers

17-07-2006

World Bank president urges G8 to break global trade barriers
The president of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, has called on the G8 to finally resolve its deadlock on global trade barriers and succeed in opening up markets across all sectors.

In a letter to the leaders of the world's most influential developed countries, the president warned that "time was running out" for a deal to be secured that would end the long-running dispute on issues affecting global trade.

Last month representatives met in Geneva, Switzerland, but failed to agree with the group of major developing nations, China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico - known as plus five - about the opening up of business sectors.

They claim that they will not open up their manufacturing and services markets to global competition until G8 countries do the same with their agricultural markets.

G8 leaders and their plus five counterparts are meeting in St Petersburg this weekend, and Mr Wolfowitz strongly urged in his letter that they should reach a compromise.

"Our collective efforts can make the difference. We can work to lift millions from poverty, boost developing country income, improve global market access and reduce taxpayer and consumer costs for all, or allow the whole effort to collapse, with harm to everyone," he said.

"A collective pledge by the US to reduce agriculture subsidies, by the EU to improve market access and the plus five members to limit tariffs on manufactures could help seal a deal."

The World Bank president explained that the liberalisation of trade markets could generate an additional $300 billion (£162 billion) pear year.

"The world's poorest people, the 1.2 billion living on less than $1 a day, are counting on your good intentions being transformed into decisive action," Mr Wolfowitz concluded.

The G8 consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US.

Related categories: Management / Business, Banking / Finance, International / Overseas.


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