Nusa Dua - The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has reached its first-ever
trade reform deal from nearly 160 ministers who gathered on the Indonesian
island of Bali.
The make-or-break agreement could add $1 trillion to
the global economy.
The approval came after Cuba dropped a last-gasp threat to veto the package
WTO Chief, Roberto Azevedo, told ministers after the talks which had
dragged into an extra day on the tropical resort island that “for the first
time in our history, the WTO has truly delivered.
“This time, the entire membership came together and we have put the
'world' back in WTO. We're back in business, Bali is just the beginning.''
The talks nearly came unstuck at the last minute when Cuba suddenly refused
to accept a deal that would not help pry open the U.S. embargo of the Caribbean
Cuba later agreed on a compromise with the U.S.
The agreement is a milestone for the
159 WTO members, marking the organisation's first global trade agreement since
it was created in 1995.
It also rescues the WTO from the brink of failure and will rekindle
confidence in its ability to lower barriers to trade worldwide, after 12 years
of fruitless negotiations.