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World seeks trade breakthrough in China
Updated: 2005-07-14 06:45

DALIAN, China (Reuters) - Ministers from around the world sought to keep up momentum on Wednesday in trade talks in China after a modest breakthrough on farm trade, one of the toughest areas in negotiations on a broad global trade pact.

Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai (R), World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi (C) and Secretary for Commerce of Hong Kong John Tsang pose at a news conference after concluding of WTO Informal Ministerial Meeting in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning province July 13, 2005. [newsphoto]
The United States, the European Union and Japan agreed on Tuesday that a proposal submitted by the Group of 20 developing countries led by Brazil made a good starting point for serious negotiations on farm trade after months of stalemate.

"The talks yesterday were positive. It was roughly in line with our expectations," a Chinese trade official said.

Ministers from more than 30 World Trade Organization countries would focus on non-agriculture market access (known as NAMA), development and other areas on Wednesday, the final day of discussions in the northeastern port city of Dalian, negotiators said.

Last week, diplomats said NAMA negotiations, or parallel goods tariff talks, also faced difficulties centering on the formula to be used in deciding how tariffs will be cut -- with divisions running not only between industrialized and developing countries but also cutting across both groups.
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