Secretary Gregory L. Domingo has affirmed the Philippines’ commitment to the conclusion of the much delayed Doha Development Round trade talks saying that, “We cannot disregard and abandon what has been achieved for the past 10 years of hard work.”
The trade chief made this statement at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Annual Ministers’ Meeting held in Hawaii this week. (Attached is speech of Secretary Domingo, as delivered).
The Doha Development Agenda, launched in 2001, was stalled over major issues between developed economies and developing countries over agriculture, tariff and non-tariff barriers, services, and trade remedies. Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) remain engaged to conclude the talks. Current efforts focus on coming up with a “Light or LDC (Least Developed Countries) Package” in the 8th Ministerial Conference in Geneva this December.
In 2001, the Doha talks came about as response to protectionist measures in the context of the adverse effects of 1997 global financial crisis. Members’ general view was allowing the markets to remain open even as they respond to the crisis, particularly developing member countries whose incomes depend on exports to developed economies.
Same pressures were encountered with the financial crisis in 2008 where economies pursued economic policies to expand trade and consequently spur demand, create jobs, and increase incomes.
The DTI also said that the Philippines looks to a successful 8th WTO Ministerial Conference this December and has urged the other members to uphold the primacy of the multilateral trading system.
Secretary Domingo led the Philippine delegation to the APEC Summit, after which the Philippine delegation will proceed to the ASEAN Summit 2011 in Indonesia. Reden Miranda, DTI