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People's Daily Online, China / Damage would be upon developing countries if Doha trade talks fail: UN chief

UN Secretary General Ban Ki- moon said on Monday the failure of the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Doha round talks would lead to serious damage upon developing countries.

Ban made the remarks in Doha, the capital of Qatar at the Doha forum on development, democracy and free trade, in which Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, British former foreign secretary Jack Straw were present.

"Everyone must redouble their efforts in the coming months to ensure success," Ban was quoted by local media as saying, referring to the stalled Doha round talks.

The global trading regime needed to create opportunities for the poorest countries instead of leaving them at a disadvantage, the UN chief said, noting that if this round of trade talks failed, serious damage would be done to those who can least afford it.

In earlier April in Washington, finance officials from the world 's seven richest nations issued a joint statement in which they claimed that a successful conclusion of the Doha round talks is "imperative."

Started in 2001, the Doha round is meant to help poor countries gain access to the developed world markets by cutting subsidies and tariffs in rich markets -- especially in agriculture. In return,wealthy nations would win access to key markets for services such as banking and insurance.

But the talks collapsed last July after the European Union and the United States turned down requests by emerging economies such as Brazil and India to trim their generous farm handouts.

Source: Xinhua

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His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar,inaugurated the activities of the "the Doha 7th Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade " in the Ritz Carlton Hotel - Doha, today 23 April ,which will continue from 23 - 25 April 2007

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