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WTO Will Take on Re-Examining the ‘Chairman`s Draft’ This Week

WTO Will Take on Re-Examining the ‘Chairman`s Draft’ This Week

Posted February. 16, 2003 22:40,   


The unofficial World Trade Organization Ministerial Meeting held at Tokyo, Japan finished its three-day session on the 16th after just affirming the divergence of opinions in agricultural field between developed countries and developing countries, and exporting countries and importing countries.

In this meeting, agricultural and trade ministers representing 22 countries and regions including Korea participated and shared their opinions on 7 fields of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) such as agriculture, service and intellectual property rights.

At the anticipated agricultural field, the exporting countries such as America, Australia, and Egypt insisted to negotiate to expand the free trading based on the draft by the WTO Agriculture Committee Chairman Stewart Havinson, which takes a big reduction of tariff as the main point. However, the agricultural product importing countries including Korea and the European Union repelled that the draft was clearly written for the exporting countries and lost the fairness. Therefore, with the arbitration by the Chair-country Japan, they decided to continue the negotiation using the Chairman`s draft as a ‘catalyst,’ and agreed to keep the deadline of the end of March to confirm the outline.

The WTO Agriculture Committee is predicted to take on the work to re-examine the Chairman`s draft at the WTO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on the 24th considering the assertions by each country raised at the Tokyo meeting. The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Kim Dong-tae, who participated on this meeting said, “Korea stressed the point that this draft could not reflect the unique agricultural situations of each country effectively,” and “we are trying to get the recognition of developing country, which we got during the Uruguay Round (UR) negotiation, in this negotiation, too.” In the meantime, the National Assembly Delegation, including Assemblymen Kim Young-jin, Lee Jung-il, Gwon Ki-sul, and Won Chul-hui, who belong to Agriculture Forestry Maritime Fisheries Committee in the National Assembly, met with the WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi in the evening on the 15th, and they explained the unique circumstances of the Korean agriculture and asked him to understand it.

Hun-Joo Cho hanscho@donga.com