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The head of the World Trade Organization is urging the Group of 20 leaders to use the November summit to make a serious push for the conclusion of stalled global trade negotiations. Pascal Lamy made the remarks on Monday in South Korea, which is hosting the G-20 summit in Seoul on November 11th to 12th.
Lamy praised G-20 leaders for taking up the Doha Round trade issues at the Toronto summit in June and called for them to follow through in Seoul.
He said he does not expect them to engage in line-by-line negotiations, but rather provide a political push for necessary compromises.
Pascal Lamy, Director General of World Trade Organization said "What we are asking them (G20 leaders) to do is give the sort of big political balance, given that what remains to be done will need compromising on all sides. They will all have to give a bit more in order to conclude the round, not much more, but a bit more. How do they see this balance is something."
The G-20, a group that includes both advanced and emerging economies, has overtaken the Group of Seven as the key forum for steering the global economy in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
Lamy said there is little chance of the trade liberalization talks being concluded this year, but suggested that could happen in 2011.
He also said that despite signs of a slowing global economy, the WTO expects world trade volume to increase by about 10 percent this year after falling 12 percent last year following the worldwide financial meltdown.
Pascal Lamy said "(Trade) is roughly as open today as it was at the beginning of this crisis, and when we look at numbers we've had a big drop in world trade last year, but we have a big pick up of world trade this year, thanks to the fact that trade has remained open."
The global slump had led to fear that governments would erect commercial and trade barriers to defend their economies.
Lamy acknowledged that growth risks for the world economy are on the "downside rather than on the upside" though not to the extent that the WTO needs to lower its forecast.
Global trade's decline of 12.2 percent in 2009 was the biggest fall in more than 70 years. The organization said earlier this month that the value of world merchandise trade increased by about 25 percent during the first half of this year from the same period in 2009.