Lamy hopeful of trade talks resumption

Geneva, July 31:

Incoming WTO chief Pascal Lamy set his sights on rejuvenating global trade talks ahead of a December summit, despite days of high-level meetings that made scant progress on key issues. Lamy, a Frenchman who takes over as director-general from September 1, also named his four deputies yesterday, appointing Alejandro Jara of Chile, Rwanda’s Valentine Rugwabiza, Harsha Singh of India and Rufus Yerxa of the United States.

“The coming months of preparation for the December Hong Kong ministerial conference will be instrumental to the future of our negotiations,” Lamy said, “This is a very strong team to lead the World Trade Organisation secretariat into a crucial stage.” Jara and Rugwabiza are both their countries’ ambassadors to the WTO, while Singh is a former member of the WTO secretariat. Yerxa is a former Deputy United States trade representative and has served the last three years as deputy to outgoing Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi.