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Doha role urged
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A senior US trade official yesterday called on China to play a bigger role in the ongoing Doha Round to conclude the global trade talks within the year.

After meeting Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming in Beijing yesterday, US Trade Representative Susan Schwab said she encouraged Chen to "look for opportunities where China can take a greater leadership role in the Doha Round".

She discussed with Chen "what China and the US can be doing together and in Geneva on a multilateral basis to make it more likely that we can conclude the Doha Round in 2008".

"Both of us hope in the next four to eight weeks, we will be engaged in a ministerial meeting in Geneva to push the Doha Round forward," she said, adding both China and the United States have stated the desire to see a successful conclusion of the Doha Round this year.

The Doha Round, initiated by the WTO in 2001, has been working toward a global trade agreement that will liberalize markets - primarily agriculture, manufacturing and services - to reduce poverty and promote development.

But WTO members have failed to reach an agreement because of disagreements on issues such as the size of tariff cuts and special treatment for developing nations.

(China Daily March 21, 2008)

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