DDA negotiations getting closer to conclusion

Member states of the WTO are ready to enter into the much awaited finale of DDA negotiations with an announcement for a Ministerial meeting on 21st July 2008. The Director General of the WTO Mr. Pascal Lamy, while calling for this meeting, expressed fair chances of success.

The meeting will focus on Agriculture and Non-Agriculture Market Access issues primarily in order to finalize the modalities in these areas. This would be followed by a "signaling" conference on Services, a process chaired by the DG WTO whereby the members would signal for their revised offers under the Services negotiations. There would also be deliberations on Rules and TRIPS related issues in order to find a convergence.

The Commerce Minister, Mr. Ahmad Mukhtar, would represent Pakistan in this Ministerial meeting of select members. Pakistan places high importance to Market Access in NAMA and Agriculture and constructively engaged to finalize modalities during this forthcoming meeting. Pakistan also places significant emphasis on Services, Rules and TRIPS related issues and looking forward to amicable outcomes through this Ministerial meeting.

Member countries and various groups have picked up the pace of work and increased engagement in various formats in order to get a successful outcome of this Ministerial meeting. The G-20 and Cairns Group would also hold group Ministerial meetings on 20th July in order to sharpen their stance for the main Ministerial process.