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China to push for Doha conclusion by 2008
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China will work with all other countries to push for a successful conclusion of the Doha Round multilateral trade talks by 2008 as this will bring greater openness and predictability to global trade, a Chinese trade official said Tuesday.

"It will also curb trade protectionism and help usher in greater stability to economic growth in the world," said Yi Xiaozhun, vice commerce minister and head of the Chinese delegation to the 12th UN Conference on Trade and Development ( UNCTAD).

Yi said the Doha Round, launched in Qatar's capital Doha in 2001 but stalled in 2006 over a divide between developed countries and developing countries about reducing farming subsidies and lowering import taxes, should be a development round and that the final package it produces should achieve a more effective participation of developing countries in the multilateral trading system as well as more tangible benefits to them.

Trade diplomats have been conducting intensive talks over the past nine months, hoping to wrap up the talks this year.

WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said during the UNCTAD that the parties to the Doha trade talks have moved closer than ever to a deal.

"Intensive technical work in negotiating on agriculture and industrial goods trade has yielded progress which could hopefully pave the way to the establishment of modalities around late May," Lamy said Monday at the high-level segment of the 12th session of the UNCTAD.

(Xinhua News Agency April 23, 2008)

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