World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy earlier this week threw in the towel and said that completion of the Doha Round of WTO global trade talks could not happen before the end of the year. Until this week Lamy had remained positive that a deal could be struck yet this year, but conceded in Geneva that it could not be concluded in that timeframe.
However Lamy did say the consensus of WTO members he had talked with was they are still committed to the round of talks and he is hopeful that a framework agreement for the trade deal can be finished before year's end.
Meanwhile a task force has been put together to examine the current global financial crisis's impact on trade. Should it find that trade financing is being choked off; Lamy says the WTO General Council will use its Nov. 12 meeting to explore ways to alleviate the situation.
"One third of the world economy, mainly in emerging countries, still has a big growth potential," Lamy said. "We must try and make sure that this engine can work through trade."