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Bali global trade deal benefits everyone: experts
The global trade deal clinched by ministers of the WTO's 159 members here marks the victory for the World Trade Organization (WTO) and benefits everyone, diplomats and experts shared with Xinhua Saturday.
The bulk of the trade deal or the Bali Package was signed to streamline trade, give developing countries more options for food security, boost least developed countries' trade and help development more generally.
The agreement, the "low-hanging fruit" of the Doha round of talks, which was expected to be achieved by trade ministers of the ninth ministerial meeting of the WTO at the closing ceremony Friday afternoon, was sealed the following morning thanks to hard negotiations.
Selim Kuneralp, Turkey permanent ambassador to the WTO said that the Bali deal is the first comprehensive package sealed since the establishment of the WTO.
"Before the conclusion of Bali talks, there was a lot of skepticism on the WTO function and people believed WTO became irrelevant," Kuneralp said on Indonesia's resort island Bali.
He said the success of this Bali meeting make it possible for the WTO to resume negotiation on the rest of Doha Development Agenda which was launched in 2001 with a focus on helping poorer countries and stalled repeatedly as rich countries and the poor nations unable to reach a consensus.
The ambassador added that the WTO members will be more confident that they can overcome other difficulties in the future.
The deal will boost the world economy by 1 trillion dollars a year, the equivalent of the Indonesian GDP, the WTO Director- General Roberto Azevedo told reporters Tuesday.
The lack of a global deal will not prevented individual countries from joining other bilateral or regional agreements. But the failure leaves poorer countries worse off, Steffen Smidt, Danish Ambassador to the WTO, in charge of Least Developed Countries' Facilitation told Xinhua during an interview Thursday.
Besides, the Bali deal will reduce up to 5 percent of the total cost of trade and greatly promote the movements of the global products, Pierre Groning, trade policy advisor at Belgium Foreign Trade Association told Xinhua Saturday.
Currently, the cost of global trade now is calculated as being 10 percent of the value of the goods. Of this cost, 7 percent is in documentation and related bureaucracy which involves 20 to 30 different parties, 40 documents, 200 data elements, according to the WTO media relations officer Josep Bosch.
Groning, who also followed the Bali trade deal negotiation explained that the most benefited countries are the ones who have the single window system which enables international traders to submit regulatory documents at a single location and single entity.
"It is a typical win-win for everyone, no matter you from any country or any region," the trade policy expert said.
[Source: Xinhua, Bali, Indonesia, 07Dec13]
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