Speeches and Presentations



HK joins call for resistance to protectionism and early conclusion of Doha Round negotiations

The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau, and 10 other ministers responsible for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Doha Round negotiations have issued a joint statement, calling upon all WTO members "to resist protectionism and to conclude the Doha Round negotiations as soon as possible."

The statement, issued at the Ministerial Council Meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris yesterday (June 25, Paris time), says ministers "are committed to resisting protectionism and reaching an ambitious and balanced conclusion to the Doha Development Round in the shortest possible time."

It continues: "We welcome the important commitments undertaken at the meetings of the G20 in London and the Cairns Group in Bali."

The ministers stressed the importance of moving the Doha Round forward to a successful conclusion by stating that "the Doha Round has a crucial role to play at this time. Concluding the negotiations will contribute to economic recovery and reinforce the benefits of the multilateral trading system. Reforms resulting from the Round will also provide valuable insurance against the threat of protectionism."

Commenting on the statement, Mrs Lau said "Hong Kong has been contributing actively on both fronts of fighting against protectionism and pushing forward the Doha Round negotiations in the WTO. We will continue to engage with other WTO members to continue with these efforts."

The statement was jointly issued by Mrs Lau and ministers from the following WTO member economies: Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Switzerland and Uruguay.

A summary of the main points of the statement can be found below:

* Ministers are committed to resisting protectionism and reaching an ambitious and balanced conclusion to the Doha Development Round in the shortest possible time. They welcome the important commitments undertaken at the meetings of the G20 in London and the Cairns Group in Bali.

* Protectionism can only deepen the current financial crisis and add years to the time for recovery. We must not allow protectionism to prevail over the collective interest or erode the basis of the multilateral trading system embodied in the WTO.

* The Doha Round has a crucial role to play at this time. Conclusion of the Doha Round will contribute to economic recovery, reinforce the benefits of the multilateral trading system, and provide valuable insurance against the threat of protectionism.

* WTO members must now show political will to act. Call on all WTO members to remain vigilant against increased protectionism, to exercise utmost restraint and to rectify promptly any protectionist measures already introduced, and to conclude the Doha Round negotiations as soon as possible.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Annex PDF