WTO deal benefits France, Europe: Chirac

19th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 18 (AFP) - A compromise deal reached Sunday by the World Trade Organisation will boost economic growth in France and the world while protecting "European interests", President Jacques Chirac said.

PARIS, Dec 18 (AFP) - A compromise deal reached Sunday by the World Trade Organisation will boost economic growth in France and the world while protecting "European interests", President Jacques Chirac said.

Chirac said the WTO deal "will contribute to the development of the poorest countries but also preserve the vital potential of European agriculture".

Trade ministers meeting in Hong Kong compromised on key sticking points in the hope of clearing the way for substantial global trade reform in 2006, agreeing to cut farm trade export subsidies and provide special breaks for the poorest nations.

Chirac said "European interests and the 2003 (European Union) agreement on the common agricultural policy (CAP) were respected."

He called for vigilance in farm talks to take place in Geneva next year, which he said should reach a result fully compatible with the mandate given to EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson.

It should conform to "the conclusions of the Brussels European summit on the forthcoming financial perspectives which guarantee the stability of the existing CAP until 2013."

The deal "brings the first answers to the expectations of the poorest countries regarding drugs, cotton, and the access to the markets of developed and emerging countries of all exports of the least developed nations free of taxes and customs and quotas."

Chirac hailed the "European solidarity" in the talks and praised Mandelson and Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel.

Earlier the French delegation had expressed some reservations about the deal, while believing it safeguarded the CAP, France's priority.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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