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PM calls for different approach to Doha trade talks

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

Prime Minister David Cameron has joined leaders of some of the world's biggest economies at the G20 Summit in Toronto, Canada.

Global talks aiming to break down trade barriers should be broadened to help reach a conclusion after years of negotiations, Prime Minister David Cameron has said.

In a press conference following the G20 Summit in Toronto, Canada, Mr Cameron said the Doha Round was now “stuck” and a different approach could help to break the deadlock.

He welcomed US President Barack Obama’s call for more areas of economic activity to be included in Doha.

The PM said:

I totally support the completion of Doha, but we are not making progress and we need to do things in a different way so that these eight years of negotiation can be brought to a conclusion.

He added:

The fact is where we are at the moment we are stuck. This isn’t progressing and it doesn’t look like it’s going to progress unless we do something different, and the discussion that we had was basically that we should look at enlarging the scale and ambition of the round, perhaps looking at bringing in some of the elements of services further forward into the round.

Economic matters had dominated talks at the G20 Summit and world leaders agreed to set non-binding targets for member states to at least halve their economic deficits by 2013 and stabilise or reduce government debt-to-GDP ratios by 2016.

In a communique released at the end of the summit, G20 nations also backed proposals for “significantly higher” capital requirements on banks to enable them to weather future crises.

During the summit, Mr Cameron also held talks with a number of his counterparts, including President Obama, President Hu Jintao of China and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India.

The PM and President Hu agreed on their shared desire to boost trade between the UK and China, and Mr Cameron accepted an invitation from President Hu to visit China later this year.

Prime Minister Singh and Mr Cameron discussed the importance of a stable Afghanistan and Pakistan and the need for progress on negotiations towards an EU-India trade agreement. Mr Cameron also reiterated Britain’s support for India to become a permanent member of a reformed UN Security Council.

The G20 follows the G8 Summit, which was held in nearby Muskoka on Friday and Saturday.

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