Press Release 01/82 C6
Speaking at the FAO Conference today
THE EUROPEAN UNION REPRESENTATIVE SAYS WTO NEGOTIATIONS IN DOHA MUST HAVE
A STRONG DEVELOPMENT THEME
Rome, 5 November 2001 . - Speaking on behalf of the European Commission at
the 31st session of the FAO Conference, Mr. Franz Fischler today underlined
that "the WTO negotiations to be launched later this week in Doha must, in
view of the European Union, have a strong development theme."
Mr. Fischler underlined that integrating the developing countries into the
world trading system was "a key element in redressing the economic imbalance"
in the world today. "This is a challenge not least for us in the developed
world, to open up our markets for trade from the developing countries," he
"Promoting food security in the developing world depends among other things
on coherence in trade, aid, food aid and domestic policies. This coherence
needs also to be reflected in the WTO negotiations," according to the EU.
Explaining the EU's proposal for the WTO negotiations, Mr. Fischler said:
"We propose, in addition to multilateral liberalisation, and in order to
increase market access to products originating in developing countries, that
developed countries provide significant trade preferences to developing
Other developed countries should open their markets to the least developed
countries for all products, as the EU has recently done, Mr. Fischler said.
He added that trade preferences should be made stable and predictable, so
that further investment and development of agricultural and agri-food sectors
in developing countries is encouraged.
"We also propose that domestic support measures which promote the vitality
of rural areas and seek to deal with the food security concerns of developing
countries should be subject to more flexible rules than those applying to
developed countries," Mr. Fischler added.
Regarding food aid, he said "new disciplines should be introduced, so that
food aid to the least developed countries and to net food importing developing
countries be given in fully grant form and in ways which do not damage local
As part of its general policy to promote the sustainable and economic development
of developing countries, the EU also proposes that developed countries should
intensify all forms of assistance to developing countries.
However, Mr. Fischler said that "Doha is not the end of the process and the
WTO negotiations are only part of the picture; the more comprehensive picture
covers the field of sustainable development - economic, social and
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