5 Aug 2008

NZ backs Brazilian bid to restart world trade talks

10:47 am on 5 August 2008

New Zealand is backing a bid by Brazil to restart failed World Trade Organisation talks as early as September.

Brazil's President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has talked to his American counterpart, and intends talking to the Chinese and Indian leaders to persuade countries to return to the negotiating table.

Marathon discussions at the world trade talks failed to reach a conclusion due to differences between the United States and emerging heavyweights such as China and India over agriculture. Developed countries have blamed India and China for not giving enough ground.

Trade Minister Phil Goff welcomes the Brazilian president's initiative, but says it is a question of whether talks can restart properly in September or whether they will have to wait until later next year.

Mr Goff has described the collapse of the world trade talks in Geneva as extremely disappointing. The Doha talks have been continuing since 2001.