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G8 drops deadline to complete WTO talks

International desk |
Update: 2010-06-26 12:41:41

TORONTO : Leaders from the world`s eight foremost industrialized countries on Saturday abandoned a pledge to finish long-running trade negotiations by the end of the year.

Leaders said they would push ahead with World Trade Organization talks -- which have been stalled over agricultural subsidies and the free trade in services -- that were aimed at boosting the standing of developing countries.

But the text was stripped of a deadline seen by many as impossible to meet.
"G8 members of the WTO renew their commitment to the successful conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda, building on the progress already made," a joint statement of the eight said.

The text dropped a previous deadline to complete the round by the end of 2010.
In L`Aquila Italy last year leaders stated that "the time is ripe to unblock negotiations in order to reach an ambitious and balanced conclusion in 2010 on the basis of the progress already made."

In Toronto leaders instead appeared to open the door to more regional and bilateral deals, which backers of the Doha round say make it more difficult to secure a global deal.

"We will continue to resist protectionist pressures, and to promote liberalization of trade and investment under the WTO, through the national reduction of barriers, as well as through bilateral and regional negotiations."

BDST: 0915 HRS, June 27, 2010

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