Page last updated at 14:13 GMT, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 15:13 UK

In quotes: Trade talks collapse

After coming close to a deal, world trade talks have collapsed - following seven years of efforts to open up the global economy.

Politicians, charities and trade organisations have been giving their reactions.

JOHN HILARY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WAR ON WANT

We welcome the collapse of the trade talks. The deal on the table threatened disaster for millions as a result of forcing open developing countries' markets.

Now the WTO must seize this opportunity to rethink its approach.

Trade must serve the interests of the majority of the world's people, not just big business."

UHURU KENYATTA, KENYAN TRADE MINISTER

Africa's opportunity to achieve fair trade has... been gravely undermined by the lack of progress in these negotiations.

Africa critically needs to realise development and get itself out of poverty through the establishment of fair trade rather than aid.

Most of the key issues of interest to the African continent were not even discussed, especially the issue of cotton.

MICHEL BARNIER, FRENCH AGRICULTURE MINISTER

The European Union made a very big effort. We were prepared to reduce duties on products which enter Europe by 54%, [and] to suppress our support for exports on condition that others do likewise.

The key is the reciprocity not regarding the poorest countries...but emerging countries.

This agreement was not really global and reciprocal as it stood yesterday.

JEREMY HOBBS, DIRECTOR, OXFAM INTERNATIONAL

The world's poorest people are increasingly vulnerable. A decent trade deal could have given them a chance to prevent worsening poverty.

This is another missed opportunity for trade reform that poor countries badly need and have been long promised.

It was brought about by rich countries' failure to keep their word.

SUSAN SCHWAB, US TRADE REPRESENTATIVE

While we made good progress... it is clear that despite our best efforts we will not be able to reach a breakthrough at this time.

In the face of a global food price crisis, we simply could not agree to a result that would raise more barriers to world food trade.

Certain members sought increased flexibilities that would have allowed them to apply tariffs that, in some cases, would exceed their current WTO bindings.

This would have moved the global trading system backwards - exactly contrary to the purposes of a negotiation intended to expand trade and economic growth.

CHRIS HANNANT, POLICY HEAD, BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

This is deeply disappointing, not least because the whole world had its hopes pinned on a successful conclusion from these trade talks.

During the current global economic downturn, we hoped for some optimism and direction from these talks and news of the collapse will be shattering to business leaders, consumers and the global economy as a whole.

We hope the UK government and the EU can do [their] best to rescue anything that is salvageable from Geneva.

VICKY CANN, WORLD DEVELOPMENT MOVEMENT

This is a better outcome for the world's poorest people than the bad deal on the table.

The EU and the US were aggressive and greedy and the development needs of poor countries have been completely sidelined, not just in the last nine days, but in the last seven years of discussions.

It is absolutely right that developing countries stood up to that.

The EU and US have failed to grasp that while developing countries may have their differences, there is strong solidarity.

If trade is to work for the poor, the EU needs a wholesale change of approach, one that places poverty eradication at its heart.


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