Asian leaders pledged to make concessions on agricultural issues to
revive stalled World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks, according to a statement
Members of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum
meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, said they were taking the lead and that others must
``We are ready to break the current deadlock: each of us is committed to
moving beyond our current positions in key areas,'' the statement said.
``That means making deeper reductions in trade-distorting farm support by
major players, creating new market access in agriculture, making real cuts in
industrial tariffs and establishing new openings in services trade while dealing
seriously with members' concerns and sensitivities."
The so-called Doha round of WTO talks collapsed four months ago due to
differences over farm subsidies and tariffs.
Poorer countries are clamouring for an end to export subsidies and restrictive
tariffs that prevent them from selling their farm goods in rich countries.
But moves to end such protection have met strong resistance from politically
powerful agricultural lobbies.