The head of the World Trade Organization says chances of making a trade deal at a crucial round of negotiations on global trade next week have recently improved. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports for VOA.
WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said the chances of success for reaching a world-trade agreement have increased as a result of talks before trade ministers meet next week in Geneva.
Lamy made the remark while presenting a WTO report in advance of the meeting in which ministers will decide the fate of the World Trade Organization's Doha Round of free-trade talks.
Lamy said that an agreement is even more important given the "dire" state of the world economy.
After seven years of negotiations, the director-general acknowledges the round has reached a decisive phase.
"What members achieve together next week will be judged as an indicator of the international community's willingness and ability to sharing the management of globalization in an effective and equitable manner," he said.
Lamy said that reaching a trade deal is key, but the world economy could overshadow an agreement. He said that economic research indicted that a Doha deal could boost the world economy by nearly $50 billion a year.
But Lamy said recent surveys on globalization show most countries are tentative about international trade benefiting their countries.
"Recent surveys on globalization in almost 50 developing and developed countries show that large majorities of people continue to believe that international trade benefits their countries, but accompanying this belief are fears about the disruptions, about the downsides of participating in the global economy, be it job loss, inequality or increased marginalization," said Lamy.
The WTO report said that in some countries specialization in agriculture and industry had lead to increased income. Both consumers and producers have benefited from a wider choice of products at lower prices, it said.
But it added other countries have not shared as much in these gains as a result of trade costs such as tariffs, non-tariff barriers, transportation, communication, and insurance.