World Bank president calls for global trade deal

WORLD Bank President Robert Zoellick will today call on countries to get out of their defensive positions on trade and push for a broad agreement that could help the struggling global economy.

In a speech to the World Trade Organisation that he is due to deliver today in Geneva, Switzerland, Zoellick will say he was disappointed the global round of trade negotiations, which he helped launch in 2001, might only deliver a deal much smaller than originally envisaged.

“A mini-deal won’t do much for global growth, which is my primary concern,” he will say. A copy of his prepared remarks was released in Washington.

“I won’t sugar coat it,” Zoellick states. “Negotiators from key countries – developed and developing – let themselves fold into defensive crouches. Tactical ploys overwhelmed strategic vision and leadership.”

He will ask WTO members to “think big” and “double-down” on a far reaching global trade deal.

Trade negotiators agreed earlier this year that a global deal to open agricultural, manufacturing and services markets was still out of reach.