WTO to hold talks to free up green goods trade: EU

24th January 2014, Comments 0 comments

The EU and about a dozen members of the World Trade Organization announced new talks to liberalise trade in the increasingly strategic green goods sector, the European Commission said in a statement on Friday.

The decision, made on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, comes only a month after the 11th-hour success of trade talks in Bali that has helped revive an international push for multilateral free trade agreements.

Green goods cover a wide range of goods from waste management and clean water technologies, to solar and wind energies.

The new talks come while the EU and the United States are caught up in huge trade disputes with China and Taiwan over the solar panel sector, where Asian producers have become dominant.

The push is to build on existing talks at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the grouping of 21 Pacific rim economies including heavyweights the US, Japan, South Korea and China.

"All WTO members need better access to the goods and technologies that protect our environment and combat climate change," said the EU Trade Commissioner, Karel De Gucht.

Early talks would focus on goods, but the ultimate goal is to create a "living agreement" that would "grow and evolve" as the highly dynamic green economy changes, the statement said.

© 2014 AFP

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