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International Trade Focus Moves to Cairns

4 September 2006

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) will host important talks between international farm leaders ahead of the Federal Trade Minister’s meeting of world Trade Ministers (the Cairns Group) in Cairns, at the Shangri-La Hotel, later this month.

On 19 September 2006, NFF President and Chair of the Cairns Group Farmer Leaders, David Crombie, will host representatives from key Cairns Group countries in discussions on the future of agricultural trade in the shadow of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) Doha round suspension.

The meeting will canvass the implications for agriculture worldwide, and seek to arrive at ways forward to help inform and facilitate Trade Ministers in their deliberations. The Cairns Group Farmer Leaders will then present and discuss their views with the Trade Ministers on 21 September.

On 20, 21 and 22 September 2006, Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Trade Minister, The Hon. Mark Vaile MP, will host Trade Ministers from all Cairns Group countries.

The strategic importance of this meeting is underscored by the attendance of the WTO’s Director-General, Pascal Lamy, and two Ministers from the United States, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and Trade Representative Susan Schwab, with the gathering seen as an opportunity for those nations committed to trade liberalisation to re-ignite and drive the political leadership necessary to frame future WTO Doha negotiations.

The Cairns Group meeting will be the forerunner to other important strategic meetings, including the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Trade Ministers and Leaders, come November in Vietnam

Member countries of the Cairns Group Farmer Leaders and the Cairns Group are: Australia, Canada, South Africa, Brazil, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, The Philippines, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Paraguay, Thailand and Uruguay

Media Enquiries: Brett Heffernan, NFF Public Affairs, (02) 6273 3855 or 0408 448 250 email:

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