G-7 urges to resume trade talks

Updated: 2007-02-11 09:22

The finance ministers and central bank governors from the G-7 countries called for a resumption of the stalled Doha Round of global trade talks and expressed their concern at risks posed by hedge funds to the global financial market.

In a communique following their two-day meeting in the western German city of Essen, the ministers and bank chiefs urged more trade liberalization and less protectionism.

"We remain committed to resisting protectionist sentiment and fully support the re-launch of the Doha trade negotiations announced in Geneva," they said.

The Doha Round began at a ministerial-level meeting in Doha, Qatar in 2001, and has been top agenda of subsequent ministerials in Cancun, Mexico (2003), and Hong Kong, China (2005), aiming at removing trade barriers.

"We firmly believe that all participants have the responsibility to ensure a successful outcome of the Doha round as it will enhance global growth and contribute to poverty reduction,?? the statement said.

The negotiations have been stalled by disputes over farm subsidies and tariffs between the developed nations led by the European Union, the United States and Japan and the major developing countries.

Earlier, speaking of the Doha Round in his speech at the meeting, Chinese Finance Minister Jin Renqing urged the developed nations to realize the special treatment for the developing economies because that this round is for development.

In their communique, the officials from the G-7 countries also voiced their concerns about the risks posed to global financial markets by hedge fund investment.

"Given the strong growth of the hedge fund industry and the instruments they trade, we need to be vigilant," they said. "We therefore agreed to further pursue the issue."

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck said on Friday that there should be a registration of all the highly speculative funds that operate with foreign capital.

He urged hedge funds managers to show greater awareness of the political consequences of their dealings. "The result is a serious financial crisis. This cannot be ruled out," he said.

Besides Jin, finance ministers from Brazil, Mexico, India and South Africa also attended the discussion with the ministers from G-7, which comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

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