Droit internationale public

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WTO report calls for more cooperation among governments in natural resource trade
23 July 2010 -- Trading in natural resources creates a great many challenges both for importing and exporting countries and governments need to cooperate more intensively if these challenges are to be adequately addressed, according to WTO economists. Director-General Pascal Lamy said: “I believe not only that there is room for mutually beneficial negotiating trade-offs that encompass natural resources trade, but also that a failure to address these issues could be a recipe for growing tension in international trade relations”.

In the WTO flagship publication World Trade Report 2010 launched on 23 July 2010 in Shanghai and Geneva, the economists maintain that “in a world where scarce natural resource endowments must be nurtured and managed with care, uncooperative trade policies could have a particularly damaging effect on global welfare.”.

The World Trade Report 2010 focuses on trade in natural resources, such as fuels, forestry, mining and fisheries. The Report examines the characteristics of trade in natural resources, the policy choices available to governments and the role of international cooperation, particularly of the WTO, in the proper management of trade in this sector.

Director-General Pascal Lamy, in his foreword, said: “I believe not only that there is room for mutually beneficial negotiating trade-offs that encompass natural resources trade, but also that a failure to address these issues could be a recipe for growing tension in international trade relations”.

“Well designed trade rules are key to ensuring that trade is advantageous, but they are also necessary for the attainment of objectives such as environmental protection and the proper management of natural resources in a domestic setting,” he added.

The key elements of the Report:

Natural resources have a number of distinctive features — the skewed geographical distribution of natural resources,

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