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Lack of progress at Doha talks adds to current instability of global economy — Lavrov

November 16, 2016, 22:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"The role of the WTO as a unique organization establishing and coordinating the universal rules of world trade is challenged," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, November 16. /TASS/. Lack of progress at the Doha round of trade talks within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a significant contributing factor to instability of the global economy, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in the article ‘APEC: The Relationship of Genuine Collectivism and Effective Interdependence’ released by APEC countries’ media on Wednesday.

"Lack of progress in the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations is undoubtedly a significant contributing factor in the current instability of the global economy," Lavrov said. "That inflicts a shift in focus from global governance to regional trade mechanisms that in certain cases involve regulation aspects that exceed by far the World Trade Organization agenda. Thereby, the role of the WTO as a unique organization establishing and coordinating the universal rules of world trade is challenged. As a result, virtually closed areas with strict control over production chains are being created, basically for receiving maximum technological rent by a restricted number of players, which runs counter to the interests of regional and global development."

"In this connection, we consider that one of the priorities of the forthcoming Summit is to explicitly confirm the APEC's principal position concerning the complementary role of regional trade agreements as regards the multilateral trade system," he said. "This is the only way to ensure balanced development of the global economy, and prevent its fragmentation and destabilization."

Lavrov pointed out that in the APEC region there were over 150 bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements. A joint strategic study has been undertaken on implementation of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.

"Its participants have not yet agreed upon the optimal format and operational parameters of the FTAAP," Lavrov said. "However, they have already drawn the main conclusion that it is necessary to equally take into account the experience of all regional integration associations without exception, including the APEC Economic Community, the Pacific Alliance and the Eurasian Economic Union. For our part, we are convinced that only constructive interaction on a transparent and non-discriminatory basis to link these associations would allow to avoid the risks of crisis in the world trade aggravation and broader use of best regulatory practices."

Peru’s capital Lima will host the APEC summit on November 17-23.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is an international forum bringing together 21 leading economies of the world for cooperation on trade and economic development of the region. Creating the system of free and open trade and a liberal investment regime in the Asia-Pacific region has been declared the main task for APEC until the year 2020.

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