Trade

St. Petersburg, July 16, 2006

1. We call for a concerted effort to conclude the negotiations of the WTO's Doha Development Agenda (DDA) and to fulfill the development objective of the Round. This is a historic opportunity to generate economic growth, create potential for development and raise living standards across the world. We urge all parties to work with utmost urgency for conclusion of the Round by the end of 2006, to strengthen the multilateral trading system and provide an important boost for the world's economy. The Round should deliver real cuts in tariffs, effective cuts in subsidies and real new trade flows.

2. We regret that the negotiations in Geneva on 29 June-1 July did not close all the gaps between the WTO Members. We welcome the decision to ask the WTO Director General to consult Members intensively in order to promote early agreement and call upon him to report to the WTO Membership as soon as possible with the aim of facilitating agreement on negotiating modalities on agriculture and industrial tariffs within a month. We call upon all countries to commit to the concerted leadership and action needed to reach a successful conclusion of the Doha round.

3. We renew our commitment to pursue a high level of ambition in all areas of the DDA with a view to reaching a meaningful and balanced outcome.  We commit ourselves to substantial improvement in market access for trade in both agricultural and industrial products and to expanding opportunities for trade in services.  We look to other WTO Members to contribute to this objective, commensurate with their level of development. In agriculture, we are equally committed to substantially reducing trade-distorting domestic support and to the parallel elimination by the end of 2013 of all forms of export subsidies, as well as the establishment of effective disciplines on all export measures with equivalent effect, as agreed in Hong Kong.  We emphasize the importance of improving trade rules and of measures to facilitate trade.

4. We are fully committed to the development dimension of Doha and the need to improve the participation of developing countries, including through south-south trade and enhanced regional integration. Trade and market opening can be a vital engine for development. An agreed development package should help achieve a successful outcome to the Doha round.

5. The poorest developing countries face particular problems in integrating into the international trading system. We will continue to ensure that this is reflected in appropriate flexibility in the DDA negotiations. We welcome the Decision at the Hong Kong Ministerial that developed countries, and developing countries that are in a position to do so, should provide duty-free and quota-free market access on a lasting basis for at least 97% of products originating from all LDCs by 2008, or no later than the start of the implementation period of the DDA; and also ensure that preferential rules of origin are transparent and simple, facilitating market access.

6. We acknowledge the importance of Aid for Trade as essential in helping many developing economies to benefit from trade. We expect spending on Aid for Trade to increase to $4 billion, including through enhancing the Integrated Framework. It is a necessary complement to a successful outcome of the Doha Round. We reaffirm our commitment to Aid for Trade and Trade Capacity Building. We will promote trade-related technical assistance through training and education. We recognize the important contribution that multilateral development institutions can make in this field, and encourage them to give this priority. We stress also the vital role of private sector participation in identifying and responding to trade-related needs. We welcome the progress made in the Task Force to strengthen the Integrated Framework for Trade Related Technical Assistance to LDCs and will support its implementation through bilateral and multilateral efforts. We recognize the challenges that may be faced by trade preference beneficiaries from preference erosion.

7. We welcome the progress in the WTO accession negotiations of the Russian Federation. We support Russia's expeditious accession to the WTO in accordance with the rules that apply to all of its members.

Source: Official website of the Russian G8 presidency