Chaired by German Minister of Economics and Technology Michael Glos, the informal Meeting of EU Trade Ministers was held yesterday; the German delegation was headed by State Secretary Dr. Bernd Pfaffenbach. The EU Trade Ministers discussed the current status and future prospects for the Doha Round with the goal of bringing the world trade talks to a successful conclusion. There was agreement among the Trade Ministers on improving market access for European companies in third countries through free trade accords between the EU and Asia's emerging economies.
Federal Minister Glos: "All of the EU Trade Ministers expressed their recognition of the outstanding importance of the Doha Round and welcomed the reopening of substantive negotiations in Geneva. From the German and European perspective, substantive facilitations for market access for industrial goods and services are essential. We need ambitious and balanced results across all negotiating sectors."
On February 7, 2007 WTO Director General Pascal Lamy announced the formal reopening of substantive negotiations.
The EU Trade Ministers also underlined the political and economic significance of the free trade agreements envisaged with the fast growing emerging economies in Asia as a way of improving market access for European companies on third markets and thus strengthening Europe's external competitiveness.
Federal Minister Glos: "I welcome the support of all of the delegations for the adoption as soon as possible of the mandates and thus for firing the starting shot for concrete negotiations. The agreements aim at easier market access for our companies. Alongside tariff reductions, there is special emphasis on the elimination of non-tariff barriers."