No Numbers in HK Drafts
Geneva Key members of the World Trade Organization decided yesterday that trade ministers meeting in Hong Kong in mid-December should not be required to make decisions related to formula "numbers" in either the agriculture or nonagricultural market access texts and instead focus on some questions on how the negotiations should proceed (WTD, 11/29/05).
In effect, envoys said, the members are urging a further "re-calibration" of the ambition for Hong Kong.
The move also is likely to lead to a less ambitious goal for services.
Instead of ministers agreeing on a "blueprint" for the Doha Development Agenda negotiations in 2006, they will be expected to discuss five questions in agriculture and three in NAMA without mention of numbers in either case. By addressing some basic questions, ministers will be better able to provide a "launching pad" for full modalities later on, trade diplomats said.
The move came after the European Union again refused to discuss numbers either in NAMA or agriculture and with Brazil