The South African Customs Unions (Sacu) has formally accepted an offer made by the US government to progress a so-called trade and investment cooperation agreement (Tica), following the breakdown of the more ambitious free-trade agreement (FTA) talks earlier in the year.
By Kanaga Raja (SUNS), TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Nov06)
An informal heads of delegation meeting was held at the WTO on Thursday 16 November. The meeting heard Lamy say the Doha talks were in between quite diplomacy and full-fledged negotiations. It is up to the chairs (of the negotiating groups) to decide the next step (in theirareas).
Washington and Brussels on Friday jointly reached out to a score of developing countries - including Brazil, South Africa, Thailand and Kenya, among others - to accelerate the Doha Development Agenda services negotiations, saying the time has come to enter into hard bargaining on what each can give and take in both market openings and rules.
In a carefully crafted statement - that did not mention the suspension of the Doha Development Agenda - World Trade Organization Director General Pascal Lamy yesterday gave the "green light" to restart work in all areas of the stalled trade negotiations by allowing the respective chairs "to determine the way ahead in each area and the speed with which the work should take place"
Talks between South Africa and the US on a free trade agreement hit a snag as US demands for complete access to South African markets were unacceptable, trade and industry director-general Tshediso Matona said
By Goh Chien Yen, TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Nov06/07)
Members of the World Trade Organization appear to be in favour of resuming the Doha negotiations, suspended by WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy (and endorsed by the Trade Negotiations Committee) in July, and subsequently "taken note of" by the General Council.