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Australia urges world leaders to complete Doha trade negotiation

10-26-2011 10:41 BJT

CANBERRA, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Australia urges world leaders to complete the Doha round trade negotiation, former trade minister and current regional Australia minister, Simon Crean, told national broadcasting network ABC on Wednesday.

Crean said he hopes the current economic crisis in Europe would encourage leaders to see the necessity of completing the Doha agreement.

However, he said if the Doha trade negotiations continue to stall, Australia should seek free trade agreements separately with as many countries as possible.

"If you can't get 153 countries collectively to agree, then let's get as many as we can agreeing to better because that will lead by example," Crean said on Wednesday.

"What we have to do is to pick up agreements like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) free trade agreement that we secured a couple of years ago, which was Doha- plus but related to a smaller group of countries."

The Doha Development Round is the current trade-negotiation round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which commenced in November 2001. Its objective is to lower trade barriers around the world, which will help facilitate the increase of global trade.

As of 2008, talks have stalled over a divide on major issues, such as agriculture, industrial tariffs and non-tariff barriers, services, and trade remedies.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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