News story

Joint letter to Pascal Lamy

The Prime Minister has written a joint letter to the Director General of the World Trade Organisation, with the German, Indonesian and Turkish leaders.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

We note with growing concern the current impasse in the Doha negotiations. Together with other  G20 members, we made a firm commitment at the Seoul Summit last November to complete a Doha deal this year. 

It is now vital that enough is done to ensure this commitment can be met. This would be a positive signal of growth  for the global economy and for the future of multilateral trade liberalization which benefits all countries. 

Last year, the four governments of the UK, Germany, Indonesia and Turkey sponsored a group of experts chaired by Peter Sutherland and Jagdish Bhagwati to report on the perspectives of the Doha Round and on challenges facing the global trading system.    

Their final report has been published today. It contains some clear messages and important insights for us all. It reflects the group’s vast collective experience in the field of trade, and provides a sound basis for discussions on taking forward our shared objectives on trade liberalisation both inside and outside the Doha framework.

In particular the report highlights convincingly the advantages of a completion of the Doha Round in terms of new market access, reform of farm trade, preventing protectionism and reinforcing the WTO system. In this context the group points out that - on the basis of the current state of negotiations - a Doha deal would result in $360 bn of additional trade volume with substantial benefits for industrialised as well as for emerging economies. 

We thank the group for their excellent work and commend this report to you and other WTO members.

Published 27 May 2011