World Trade Organisation talks fail to make progress

The World Trade Organisation's (WTO) global trade reform meeting in Geneva has failed to reach agreement on the text of a deal to be put to ministers. A worldwide agreement now depends on whether ministers can hammer out their remaining differences at next month's WTO biennial conference in Bali.

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has estimated the deal could be worth as much as $960bn (£590bn) to the global economy and create 21m jobs, 18m of which would be in developing countries.

The WTO has been seeking a global trade deal for the last 12 years. The deal was intended to streamline customs procedures and make border-crossing procedures more predictable and transparent. The proposed agreement also included reforms to rules on agriculture and incorporates elements of the Doha trade talks.

Issues yet to be resolved included the US embargo of Cuba and Indian crop stockpiling, which is exempt from WTO subsidy rules.

Related articles