Humayun calls for meeting the Falconer challenges

While speaking to an informal Ministerial gathering of WTO Ministers at Paris on 16 May 2007, Commerce Minister of Pakistan Mr. Humayun Akhtar Khan asked major players to accept the challenges posed by the Agriculture Chair Mr. Falconer and make their revised offers as soon as possible so as that a breakthrough on Doha Round could be made. He added that the Chair of Agriculture had identified centres of gravity and major players should be able to make offers to meet those centres. He also referred to the very practical proposal for Special Products which was made by Pakistan and hoped that it provides the necessary middle ground for various interests. For making progress on NAMA, he felt that developed countries should consider offering a coefficient which is lower than 10 to encourage developing countries to accept a more ambitious coefficient.

Commerce Minister also participated in a working dinner hosted on 15 May by Mr. Amari, METI Minister of Japan, where Ministers from Argentina, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Mexico and South Africa had a frank exchange of views on the current state of negotiations, sensitivities of various countries and ways to move the negotiations forward.

Earlier the Commerce Minister was a panelist at the OECD forum which was chaired by Alan Beattie, the World Trade Editor of the Financial Times. Other panelists included trade Ministers of Argentina, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, and DG (WTO). Mr. Khan spoke on the challenges facing the multilateral system. These included negative implications of bilateral deals, inequities of international trading system and failure to deal with them, heavily loaded agenda for trade negotiations, perception vs. reality of negotiating process and the growing governance gap between markets / technology vs. negotiating mentalities and working of multilateral organizations.

See full text of his speech for more details.