WTO told to speed up talks

European businesses are getting frustrated over the slow progress in the Doha Round of Trade talks and Businesseurope, the European Union business lobby, yesterday called on the World Trade Organisation (WTO)to speed up the negotiations.<br /><br />Eight years ago the WTO launched its first ever development round of trade talks in Qatar&rsquo;s capital city. But the decisions are far from finalised. <br />Today, 153 trade ministers will meet for the WTO&rsquo;s seventh ministerial meet in Geneva, but Doha negotiations will be left in the margins. Instead the ministers will talk about the WTO&rsquo;s role in economic recovery and climate change.<br /><br />&ldquo;At some point of time all WTO members will have to make up their minds on the conclusion of the round&hellip; what could be a better moment than a WTO ministerial meeting that gathers the whole membership,&rdquo; says Carsten Dannoehl, senior advisor for international relations at the lobby group. <br /><br />Businesseurope is expected to issue a call during the conference for the WTO members to focus on concluding a Doha deal which would cut industrial and agricultural tariffs, slash agricultural subsidies and open up trade in services.<br /><br />British businesses are also keen to see Doha negotiations moving forward. John Lucas, policy advisor for international trade at the British Chamber of Commerce, believes that any further delay in a Doha agreement is particularly bad for British businesses. &ldquo;Doha will liberalise services and that is where Britain has an advantage&rdquo;, he said.<br /><br />WTO director general Pascal Lamy told reporters on Thursday that there will be a discussion, but there will not be a ministerial decision.