22 Apr 2010

No moves on Doha agenda - WTO

9:13 pm on 22 April 2010

The head of the World Trade Organisation has rejected proposals to revise the Doha trade agenda, saying changes could be unpopular with developing nations seeking to open up world commerce.

WTO director-general Pascal Lamy says none of the organisation's 153 members suggested revising the Doha agenda during a stock-taking exercise in March, when they dropped a deadline for a trade liberalisation agreement.

Mr Lamy was in Uruguay for a meeting of the Cairns Group of 19 agricultural exporting countries, including New Zealand, and which hopes to inject new life into the Doha round.

Cairns Group ministers have expressed disappointment a free-trade deal still appears to be some time off.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser says the Trans Pacific Partnership talks between the United States, New Zealand and other nations are no substitute for concluding a global deal.