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Cairns Group Ministers want a Doha outcome by year's end

19 April 2007

NATIONAL Farmers' Federation (NFF) President and Chair of the Cairns Group Farm Leaders’ forum, David Crombie, has wrapped up crucial trade talks in Pakistan - including an address to Cairns Group Ministers pressing for a worthwhile outcome from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Doha Round.

All issues put to Ministers by the farm leaders have been accepted.

Farm leaders welcomed the positive Lahore meeting and, in particular, they endorsed the 'work plan' set out by Ministers aimed at concluding the negotiations in the coming months.

Cairns Group Ministers, as requested by farm leaders, have mapped out a strategy focusing on building international support to conclude the Round this year.

It builds on ideas already put forward by the Cairns Group to deliver a commercially meaningful outcome from the Doha Round.

The 'work plan' includes identifying and developing mechanisms that would deliver improvements in market access, ways to quickly eliminate export subsidies and the means to discipline domestic support to see it substantially reduced.

These priorities are important to farmers. If the ambitions of the Cairns Group can be achieved, it will be a significant boost to all Australian farmers.

The NFF thanks Australia's Trade Minister, The Hon Warren Truss MP, and his team of negotiators for their work in Lahore this week, and overall commitment to achieving a comprehensive outcome for agriculture from the Doha Round.

The NFF will remain involved in the WTO negotiations over the coming months to help the Minister and his negotiators in working towards the ambitious outcome all farmers need.

The Cairns Group Ministerial communiqué is available at: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

[ENDS]

Media Enquiries: Brett Heffernan on (02) 6273 3855 or 0408 448 250.

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