World Trade Organization (WTO)
WTO Doha Round Bulletin
Week ending 3 September 2004 (Issue 2004/29)
This bulletin, summarising key WTO Doha Round-related activities, is issued by the Office of Trade Negotiations, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Next phase of Doha negotiations
With the end of the summer break in Geneva, WTO Members are moving into the next phase of the Doha negotiations focussing on defining modalities for the agriculture and non-agricultural market access negotiations. Members will also work towards achieving a number of deadlines for specific elements of the negotiating mandate that were set in the July Framework Package. These deadlines cover Special and Differential Treatment (S&D), Implementation issues and Services:
- on S&D, the Committee on Trade and Development is to report to the General Council with recommendations on all outstanding Agreement-specific proposals by July 2005;
- on implementation, there will be a review of progress in finding solutions on implementation-related issues by July 2005; and
- on services, May 2005 has been set for the submission of revised services offers.
Negotiations in Geneva are due to recommence this month but a detailed program of meetings has not yet been set. The next negotiating meetings on agricultural and non-agricultural products are expected to be scheduled for early October 2004. Australia's Special Negotiator for Agriculture has been undertaking consultations with Australian agricultural industry and relevant bodies in order to discuss the July Package. Australia will continue to work closely with Cairns Group colleagues and other like-minded Members, especially in Geneva, to reengage in discussions on finalising negotiating modalities as quickly as possible. Australia plans to submit a revised services offer by the May deadline. In preparation, officials are currently consulting widely with stakeholders.
Seminar on freight logistics services
'Freight logistics services' include the broad range of activities involved in supply chains, such as freight forwarding, cargo handling, storage, organisational activities, and transport, across the various transport modes. Commitments by WTO Members in freight logistics can create a drive toward efficient supply chains and improve market access for Australian exporters. Australia, with Hong Kong, Nicaragua, Switzerland, and Taiwan, launched a formal negotiating proposal in the WTO on 2 July, urging countries to make legally-binding commitments on a 'whole-of-supply-chain' view of the movement of freight. The proposal has been well-received and has attracted considerable interest and support.
On 29 September, an informal group of WTO Members known as the 'Friends of Freight Logistics' and chaired by Australia, plans to hold a seminar in Geneva for WTO Members with the theme, 'Freight logistics - unlocking markets in developed and developing countries.' It is envisaged that industry speakers will help to reinforce to WTO Member governments the importance of services trade commitments.
Further information on the Freight Logistics Services Proposal
Forthcoming meetings in Geneva
15 Trade Policy Review Body - Korea
16-17 Textiles Monitoring Body
17 Trade Policy Review Body - Korea
20-23 Services Meeting
21-23 Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
23 Committee on Agriculture
24 Council for Trade in Services
Trade Policy Section
Office of Trade Negotiations
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
BARTON ACT 0221
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This bulletin is issued by the Office of Trade Negotiations, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It summarises key WTO Doha Round-related activities over the past week.