COA SS 24th July 2007: Statement by Pakistan

Mr. Chairman, 

Let me join others in appreciating your resolve towards reaching modalities in Agriculture and attempt to converge the differences amongst membership. The current draft text is a clear movement in right direction from the challenges paper. Let me also say that we associate ourselves with the statements made by the Cairns Group, G-20 and G-33. 

One of the more notable features in the text is your effort to narrow the ranges in domestic support pillar and outlining the disciplines within this pillar. We feel that figure of the OTDS must be in lower end of the range defined by you since even the lowest of this range will not have effective and real cut. The base periods for domestic support allocation are reasonable and go in line with the demand of wider membership.  

On Market Access there is lack of ambition. For example we are concerned with too much flexibility provided for the Sensitive products. Like others we would like more clarity on the issues of interest to developing countries like Tropical and Alternative products, Special Products, SSM, Tariff Escalation and Tariff Simplification etc. We recognize that some work needs to be done in these areas but some of the elements could have been pocketed at this point in time. On tariff escalation some members have tried to confuse the issue by picking on very complicated examples. On preference erosion we share concern of Costa Rica. 

The export competition pillar is well defined yet there are certain points of concern such as 5 years self financing period in export credits. 

On the whole this draft is much improved and a good starting point for finalization of modalities. We hope that final modalities live up to the ambition in the Doha mandate and Para 24 of the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration. We are prepared to engage fully in reaching full modalities when we recommence negotiations in September. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman