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Kenya to host global trade forum in March
2005-01-27 00:47:02 XinhuaEnglish

NAIROBI, Jan. 26(Xinhuanet)-- Kenya will host another crucial meeting in March to revive the World Trade Organization(WTO) talks that collapsed in Cancun, Mexico two years ago, a senior government official announced here Wednesday.

The mini ministerial meeting, to be held on March 3-5, will bring together over 150 trade officials, including 25 trade ministers from key trading nations-- th
e United States, the European Union(EU), India, Brazil, Japan and Australia, Kenyan Trade and Industry Minister Mukhisa Kituyi told reporters in Nairobi.

"This is the most important meeting since the collapse of the WTO talks in Cancun in the year 2003," Mukhisa said, adding the trade talks will focus on the stalled Doha round, with agriculturehigh on the agenda.

"This time we are not going to apportion blame for the collapseof WTO talks on anyone. The discussion will be a sensitive one, and we just want to know from them(the WTO, the United States andthe EU) what their thoughts are so that we can get into fresh talks knowing our stand," the minister added.

This meeting is in a series of efforts that have lately been pursued to ensure the deadlock over agricultural issues should be resolved.

Analysts said it was essential that ways of restarting the talks are explored, because developing countries stand to lose much in the current world trade system.

The meeting comes almost a year after the east African nation hosted the first such meeting on the continent in its port city Mombasa, which was attended by US trade representative Bob Zoelickand EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy and 18 African trade ministers. The next WTO talks are scheduled for next year in Hong Kong.

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