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The most recent talks by member countries of the World Trade Organisation have ended in disappointment. Despite a reminder from Director General, Pascal Lamy of the urgent need to address agriculture and NAMA (non-agricultural market access), the talks ended without any progress. Disagreement urged Pascal Lamy to comment: “We are in a crisis because, on some issues, distances remain too large between major players.” The three-day conference ending on July 1 st, aimed to outline member commitments to reduce tariffs and cut farm subsidies. But, there was some debate with developing countries maintaining that it is up to the ‘big six’, Australia, Brazil, the EU, India, Japan and the US, to make the first move26julykorea.jpg26julykorea.jpg Members stated that they remain committed to completing the negotiations by the end of the year but Lamy warned that failure to reach decisions will mean losing work that has potential to refort current trade regulations. A report of agricultural trends published by the OECD and FAO has warned that subsidies in Europe and America distort the market by forcing prices down, which makes it difficult for developing countries to compete. The report OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2006-2015 says that more investment is needed to improve education, training and infrastructure in developing countries to improve productivity. However, the report also warns that “poor countries will be increasingly dependant on world markets for their food security and therefore more vulnerable to international price fluctuations and growing exposure to world markets could leave countries struggling to meet their food needs.”



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