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Minister Bruton welcomes success at World Trade Talks

Speaking today (Saturday) on his return from the World Trade Organisation’s

(WTO) 9th Ministerial Conference in Indonesia, Richard Bruton T.D.,

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation welcomed the historic

breakthrough in world trade negotiations that has been achieved.

The Minister said :

“What was agreed in Indonesia is globally significant. It will cut customs

red tape and bureaucracy, making it cheaper, smoother and quicker for

exporters to sell internationally. It is highly significant for

agriculture, trade facilitation and support for developing countries. It

will help provide food security for billions of people, while opening new

markets for less developed countries to sell more, helping their economies

grow and take greater strides in tackling poverty.

"This is the first time in the WTO’s 18 year history that it has concluded

a multilateral trade agreement across all 160 Members of the Organisation.

Following long years of stalled talks on liberalising world trade, the WTO

has proved with this ground-breaking agreement that it can deliver strong

momentum to the current round of global trade talks – the Doha Development

Agenda. This is a significant achievement for the WTO.

“This clearly shows that the WTO can deliver new trade rules to bring

economic opportunity and benefits to business - and ultimately jobs - in

developed and developing countries alike.”

Note for Editors.

The agreement among all 160 countries of the WTO sets a new path to

completing the Doha Development Agenda. It reenergises the commitment of

virtually all the world’s Governments to press ahead with finishing a round

of trade negotiations.

The Doha Development Round began in 2001 when the WTO started off a new

Round of trade liberalisation talks. Development was placed at the core of

the new Round, with the aim of addressing the development needs of

developing countries and especially Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

An agreement on Trade Facilitation will change customs procedures cutting

down the time it takes to pass goods through borders. It is estimated that

the savings from these changes could, in time, amount to almost $1

trillion. This would be an important boost to the world economy. The

agreement will be of special benefit to SMEs that find customs bureaucracy

most costly in time and resources. For Irish exporters, expanding into new

markets of developing countries will be made more straightforward as

customs rules made more clear and procedures become more streamlined. The

agreement foresees investment and technical assistance for LDCs to help

them with this modernisation process.

The agriculture package gives developing countries the right to introduce

food security policies in the form of public purchasing and stockholding of

food for poorer citizens. This is of huge significance to many countries

affected by the unpredictable climate change and the impact it can have on

fragile and basic agriculture sectors and where subsistence farming can be

so important to many millions that go hungry every day. The deal in

Indonesia will mean that developed countries will make it easier for

developing country farm produce exporters to access their markets in cases

where import quotas are persistently not filled.

New arrangements will also be introduced to boost trade opportunities for

Least Developed Countries – the development package of the agreement. This

includes new rules that will make it easier for developing countries to

sell services into the higher income developed world, rules that will lower

restrictions on exports to developed countries by allowing developing

countries to use more imported components in their exports – usually

referred to as Rules of Origin