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Last Updated: Friday, 26 January 2007, 16:11 GMT
Brazil's Lula urges Doha progress
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
Lula addressed trade ministers meeting in Davos
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has called on rich nations not to hold back the developing world by lack of flexibility on global trade talks.

He was talking at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos.

Trade ministers from about 30 countries have converged there to try to breathe life into the flagging Doha Round of World Trade Organization negotiations.

Developing nations have claimed aspects of the talks, including issues of trade tariffs, may hurt the world's poorest.

The Doha Development Agenda was launched in 2001.

The talks have foundered on a number of points and have repeatedly stalled over the past few years.

Developing nations believe that the EU and US must cut agricultural subsidies if progress is to be made.

At the same time, the EU and US want big developing nations, such as Brazil and India, to open up their fast-growing markets in industrial goods and services.

'Possibility of growth'

Lula said Brazil was ready to make concessions if Europe and the US were prepared to move too.

"We are fighting... to make rich countries aware that if there is no deal on the Doha Round, there will be no point in blaming things on Iraq, or thinking that they can resolve wars by giving out financial help every now and again," he said in Davos.

"It's the possibility of growth, creating jobs and distributing wealth that will create a peaceful world."

In another development, the International Business Council of business leaders from around the world also called for open markets and liberal economic policy.

"We are united in our concern that failure to restart the Doha Round discussions immediately and conclude them within the next six months will seriously damage the global community," it said in a statement.

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