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WTO chief in New Zealand to discuss trade in hard economic times

08-03-2011 13:56 BJT

WELLINGTON, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy will arrive in New Zealand Wednesday to discuss with government officials the stalled Doha Round of trade negotiations and the WTO's work in the difficult economic climate.

Trade Minister Tim Groser, who will host Lamy in Wellington from Aug. 3 to 5, said New Zealand was "strongly committed" to the multilateral trading system embodied in the WTO.

"Director-General Lamy's visit comes at a critical point, when members of the WTO are considering how to progress the currently stalled Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations," said Groser.

"We are actively supporting efforts to advance the Doha Round and I will be reinforcing this commitment to Director-General Lamy and offering what help I can."

Lamy, who has been WTO Director-General since 2005 and last visited New Zealand in the role in March 2009, will also meet with Prime Minister John Key and Leader of the Opposition Phil Goff, as well as government officials and business leaders.

The Doha Round was launched in Doha, Qatar, in 2001 to lower trade barriers and to help developing countries, but negotiators have failed to agree on measures.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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