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WTO urges G20 to break Doha impasse

SEOUL, Sept 6 – World Trade Organisation chief Pascal Lamy urged Group of 20 leaders Monday to make a big push for the conclusion of the Doha round of global trade talks at their summit in November.

The Doha round may be completed next year, he told reporters after talks with South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak and Trade Minister Kim Jong-Hoon to discuss the agenda for the Seoul get-together.

Leaders of the world\’s 20 advanced and developing nations said in 2008 that they would reach agreement by the end of the same year on a broad outline of the final trade liberalisation deal.

But the Doha talks remain mired in disagreements over tariff cuts and reductions to farm subsidies. G20 leaders had set a goal to wrap up the trade negotiations this year.

"We all know that this will not happen before the end of this year," Lamy was quoted by Yonhap news agency as saying.

He said the November summit may push the trade talks forward, adding "maybe next year, depending on the progress made in the Seoul summit."

"A substantial engagement among leaders is the right thing in order to pave the way for the conclusion of the round," Lamy was quoted as saying.

"We need compromising on all sides … a bit more to conclude the round, not much more."

Lamy also said the WTO has stepped up efforts in working with Seoul to speed the Doha round, according to Yonhap, as Lee seeks to use the summit to add momentum to its conclusion.

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He also said trade volume would increase at least 10 percent this year, although there are still lingering downside risks to the global economy.

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