August 1, 2008

Emerging nations want to end "colonial" practises - WTO chief

World Trade Organization chief Pascal Lamy said Thursday (July 31) that the collapse of global trade talks showed that emerging economies wanted an end to "colonial" practises favouring the developed world.

"This time, emerging economies want to rebalance the rules, particularly regarding agricultural subsidies, which they see, and I think correctly, as inherited from a past in which it was the former colonial powers who led the dance and not them," he told French radio.

The WTO talks collapsed Tuesday after delegates had struggled for nine days to reach consensus on subsidy levels and import tariffs for a new deal under the body's so-called Doha Round, which has foundered since its launch seven years ago.

Lamy, when asked Thursday if the talks could be resumed, said it was "a little early to say."

"But the collective feeling is that we can't stay where we are," the WTO's director-general told France Inter radio.

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