The Doha Round of trade talks, launched more than 10 years ago, is unlikely to succeed but progress can be achieved in getting international agreement in areas such as trade facilitation, World Trade Organization chief Pascal Lamy said on Monday.
There has been “some progress”, although it will not be in the form of the “big package envisaged 10 years ago”, he said.
The WTO is instead trying to extract from the current round of talks a few topics on which progress can be made on their own merit, such as coming up with common rules to facilitate the movement of goods across borders.
“My own guess is that they will muddle through. It will be at the cost of their credibility, at the cost to the taxpayers and at the cost of economic growth,” he said.
The Doha Round of trade talks was officially launched in November 2001 but has stalled because of disagreements between developed countries and emerging economies.