3 Aug 2008

Collapse of trade talks heavy blow - China

5:49 pm on 3 August 2008

China has called the collapse of trade liberalisation talks a heavy blow.

China's Minister of Commerce Chen Deming told state media his country will brace for more trade friction and pursue closer regional cooperation.

Developed countries have blamed India and China for not giving enough ground at World Trade Organisation talks that failed to strike a deal on lifting barriers to trade in farm and other goods.

But Mr Chen said wealthy countries were the culprits.

The number of preferential trade deals involving Asia-Pacific countries has exploded in recent years, largely due to the deadlock in the WTO.