Press Conference of Doha coalition of pro-trade NGOs
Tuesday 13 November, 1:00pm
Al Nakhil Room, Sheraton, Doha
Title: 50 NGO and business groups from 30 countries applaud progress in free trade.
About 20 media representatives
On the panel:
- Alan Oxley, Australian APEC Study Centre
- Owen Lippert, Fraser Institute
- Rachel Thompson, Free Trade Writers Group
Alan Oxley opened with a short introduction emphasizing the pro-trade, pro-
development, pro-growth and pro-globalisation stand of the business coalition. He
stressed that a new trade round was good for developing countries.
Lippert and Thompson each supplemented brief comments. They referred to the joint
statement by business organisations expressing support for a new round.
Chris Roberts (representing International Financial Services London and European
Services Forum) and WK Chan (HKCSI) were invited to comment from the floor.
China’s phenomenal growth was cited as evidence of the benefits of opening up and
of trade and investment liberalization.
In response to a question, Alan Oxley said this new round was significant as the first
after the Uruguay Round. It could become the LDC round to complete the work of
Uruguay Round. The latter was important for setting up the framework but there was
in fact not much actual liberalization. The current round would be more practical,
more difficult, but also more important for trade liberalisation.
He emphasised that the significance of a new round was that it meant a commitment
by all parties to achieve trade liberalization. WTO members would be locked in to
Rachel Thompson commented that the US deserved credit for the leadership and
flexibility in TRIPs. EU would deserve credit if it could give way on agriculture.