Smith to push for early action on Doha

30 Jun, 2010 02:00 PM
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Stephen Smith.
Stephen Smith.

AUSTRALIA will press key allies to seek an early meeting of trade ministers from the Group of 20 nations in an effort to put trade ­liberalisation at the top of the agenda for the next meeting of G20 leaders in November.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Stephen Smith, told The Australian Financial Review that he would speak as soon as possible to World Trade Organisation director-general Pascal Lamy and ministers from G20 governments to emphasise the need to reinvigorate the Doha round of trade negotiations.

Mr Smith, who on Monday became the first minister to hold both the foreign affairs and trade port­folios since the departments of foreign affairs and trade were amalgamated, said he intended to use the extra clout the merged role gave him to ­promote Australia's trade liberalisation agenda.

His early move to talk to Mr Lamy reflects his determination to maintain the close link former trade minister Simon Crean had with the WTO chief, formerly the European Union's senior trade commissioner.

The Australian Financial ReviewSource: http://www.afr.com

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