Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
The closing date for public submissions on issues related to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is August 1.
The Government is committed to ensuring that it takes into account the
views of all Australians in developing negotiating position and proposals
in our engagement with the WTO, particularly in the lead up to the 4th WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar, November 9-13.
In early April, Trade Minister Mark Vaile invited interested parties, including
members of the public, business groups, non-government organisations and
companies, to make written submissions. These submissions will contribute
to the process.
Public comment is invited on WTO-related issues, including the
- Agenda for future multilateral trade negotiations, including the subject
matter, content and timetable for negotiations, or other further work
in the WTO;
- Desirability for Australia's interests of including in the WTO's negotiating
agenda new issues;
- Broader range of issues which Australia might propose for inclusion
in the WTO agenda for further work; and
- Operation and the effect on Australia's national interest of existing
During the Doha conference, WTO Ministers will examine the desirability
of initiating a new round of multilateral trade negotiations. By prior
agreement, negotiations on several WTO agreements, in the areas of agriculture,
services and intellectual property are currently underway. In addition,
the preparatory process will also examine the desirability of negotiations
or further study on other topics. The range of topics is open-ended
but, by way of example, there have been calls for work on trade and investment;
trade and competition policy; trade and environment; transparency in government
procurement; electronic commerce; industrial market access and WTO institutional
Further information regarding the submission process is available on the
DFAT website www.dfat.gov.au/trade/negotiations/consultations_australians or by contacting Sonja Weinberg on (02) 6261 1889.
Nicole Guihot, DFAT Media Liaison, 02 6261 1555