Development must be a priority at MC8

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pretoria - Development must remain central during talks at the World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference, known as MC8, says Trade and Industry (dti) Minister Rob Davies.

"There is consensus among developing nations in Africa, as well among Brazil, Russia, India and China, that the development agenda as agreed on during the 2001 Doha meeting, must not be compromised in favour of developed countries' interests," Davies said on Tuesday.

The developmental agenda was agreed on during talks in Doha in 2001. It relates to issues important to developing nations such as reforming trade rules for agriculture and duty-free, quota-free access for the least-developed countries.

The minister was speaking ahead of the start of the eighth session of the conference which kicks off tomorrow.

He emphasised that South Africa wanted the developmental mandate to remain a focus at the session, adding that both African countries and Brics members share the view that development issues were fundamental.

Davies will lead a delegation comprising of some members of Parliament, government, labour and business to the conference.

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