BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: World: Asia-Pacific
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Saturday, 13 October, 2001, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK
Fight terror with trade, summit told
Goh Chok Hong
Prime minister Goh Chok Tong welcomes the delegates
Singapore's Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong has warned that the 11 September attacks in the United States "have probably tipped the world into a global recession".

September 11... marks the conflict between globalisation and isolationism, between free trade and protectionism

Goh Chok Tong
Singapore prime minister
Speaking at the opening of a meeting between trade ministers from 22 countries aimed at clearing the way for new global trade talks, Mr Goh said there was now a clear choice.

"September 11 does not merely mark the conflict between civilised behaviour and terrorism, it also marks the conflict between globalisation and isolationism, between free trade and protectionism," he said.

Dog sniffing packages
Sniffer dogs are part of tight security efforts
A full ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation is scheduled for November in Doha, in the Gulf state of Qatar.

WTO Director General Mike Moore and the leading member countries want to use that meeting to launch the new set of global talks.

But first the ministers must resolve major differences over the scope of any future negotiations.

The WTO failed in its plan to launch a round at its previous ministerial conference in Seattle in the US in 1999.

There were major divisions between the member countries about what should be on the agenda.


The Singapore meeting will be considering a compromise document prepared by Stuart Harbinson, chairman of the WTO's ruling general council, aimed at narrowing differences.

The ministers will discuss "the critical areas of agriculture, environment and competition," Australia's Trade Minister Mark Vaile told the Associated Press news agency.

Mark Vaile
Australian Trade Minister Mark Vaile
Mr Vaile said agriculture must be one of the items on the agenda for any world trade talks, with the aim of reducing export subsidies.

Japan and Europe want to retain the right to subsidise their farmers in order to preserve the rural way of life.

The trade ministers will also discuss a request by developing nations for more flexible trade rules within the WTO to encourage their economic development.

See also:

12 Oct 01 | Business
Key trade talks in the balance
12 Oct 01 | Business
US retail sales plunge
12 Oct 01 | Business
Oil demand set to slump
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories