A militant Korean farmers' group, considered among the world's most violent anti-globalisation groups, has been granted a permit for an upcoming trade summit in Hong Kong, an official website revealed.
Preparations for the World Trade Organization's important ministerial conference in Hong Kong were thrown into disarray following two days of fruitless ministerial talks in Geneva Nov. 8-9, where member governments essentially gave up on achieving their stated goals for the December gathering.
Top WTO negotiators said they had failed to bridge key differences on a global trade accord in talks this week and acknowledged that the scope of a crucial ministerial meeting in Hong Kong next month would have to be scaled back.
Trading nations still deeply divided on key issues faced the prospect of a watered-down WTO ministerial conference next month in Hong Kong, where they are hoping to put together a framework deal to lower global trade barriers.
By Martin Khor, TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues
A Mini-Ministerial meeting was under way at the WTO this afternoon in an attempt by the Director-General Pascal Lamy to provide some political momentum to the faltering preparatory process for the Hong Kong Ministerial conference in mid-December.
Geneva Just how substantial a planned sixth ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization in Hong Kong December 13 to 18 can be has been called into question because of the inability of trade ministers to reach agreement on full modalities in the Doha Development Agenda agriculture and nonagricultural market access talks
Most members of Congress do not think much at all of the ongoing Doha Development Agenda of trade negotiations and when they hear that the United States is getting little of what it is demanding in agricultural and industrial products market access, they think even less of it
The five trade ministers from the United States, the European Union, India, Brazil and Japan who met here in an effort to reach a breakthrough in the stalled Doha Development Agenda trade negotiations practiced diplomatic 'brinkmanship' and restated 'inflexible' positions, but ended on a 'disappointing' note leaving attainment of the full modalities in agriculture and industrial goods trade for next month
Trade ministers from around the world have agreed to hold meetings in London and Geneva through the coming week in an effort to rescue plans for a global trade pact that is at an impasse over agriculture issues.