WTO - Hong Kong agreement : communiqué.

WTO - Hong Kong agreement : communiqué.

Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic.

(Paris, 18 December 2005)

President Chirac considers that the Hong Kong agreement will promote growth and employment in France, Europe and the world. It will contribute to the development of the poorest countries, while safeguarding the essential potential of European agriculture.

President Chirac stresses that, on agriculture, European interests and the 2003 agreement on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have been respected with the assertion of the principle of the parallel elimination of all forms of export subsidies, including those of the United States, Australia and Canada, in a timetable compatible with the CAP until 2013. He calls for vigilance in the agricultural negotiations beginning in Geneva early next year, which will have to lead to a result both fully compatible with the mandate given to Commissioner Mandelson and consistent with the conclusions of the Brussels European Council on the next Financial Perspective which guarantees the stability of the current CAP until 2013.

This agreement takes some initial steps towards satisfying the poorest countries' expectations on medicines, cotton and access of all the least-developed countries' exports tariff- and quota-free to the developed and emerging countries' markets. On all these issues, Europe has demonstrated initiative and commitment.

President Chirac nevertheless stresses that this progress for development is still inadequate and will have to confirmed, both in the implementation of the Hong Kong decisions and during the next stage of the Round's negotiations.

He emphasizes the importance for growth and employment in France and Europe of swiftly fleshing out the commitments made by all the member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and particularly by the emerging countries, on industrial products, services and intellectual property.

Finally, he pays tribute to the unity of the European Union during this tough negotiation and the positive role played by Commissioners Mandelson and Fischer-Boel.

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