UN official says Brazil meeting good chance to reexamine efforts on global

This summer’s ministerial meeting of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will be an excellent opportunity for countries to review efforts to resume global trade negotiations since the stalemate last September in Cancún, Mexico, UNCTAD Secretary-General Rubens Ricupero said today.There was general agreement that the last possible period to work out the framework for future trade negotiations would be the end of July, therefore the meeting from 13 to 18 June in São Paulo, Brazil, would beat the deadline by a month, he said at a press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.While it was difficult to predict whether trade negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO) would be successful, the conditions in “the real world of trade” were much more encouraging now than they were in the recent past, he said.The world economy would probably expand by as much as 4.5 per cent this year, Mr. Ricupero said. World trade had grown by 4.7 per cent last year and, according to estimates, could grow by 7.5 per cent in 2004, providing better opportunities for exports and creating a more propitious climate for trade negotiations.The theme of the meeting would be “Enhancing coherence between national development strategies and global economic processes towards economic growth and development, particularly of developing countries,” he said. The meeting would deal specifically with such developing country complaints as improving access to markets in rich countries and the need to redress past imbalances in the world trading system.UNCTAD’s ministerial-level meeting is held every four years to set the organization’s priorities and guidelines for action.One document expected to come out of the meeting, currently being negotiated at the preparatory committee meeting in Geneva, would include development strategies in a globalizing world economy; improving international competitiveness; assuring development gains from the international trading system and creating partnerships for development, Ambassador Luiz de Felipe de Seixas de Correa of Brazil said.

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