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AU Ministers Discuss World Trade Concerns

Published date:
Friday, 10 June 2005

African Union trade ministers meeting in Cairo this week are eager to increase Africa's share of the growing world market, according to Deputy US Trade Representative Peter Allgeier, who met with the ministers on Tuesday.

"All of us are committed to using the Doha negotiations to help reverse the trend that has occurred in Africa of a declining share of world trade," Allgeier said from Cairo.

"We think that the Doha negotiations can help to reverse that and allow African countries to take advantage of the great expansion in trade that has occurred over the last decade and that we expect to continue, and to be a leading factor in countries' economic growth, as it has been over the last decade for the United States and for the world generally," Allgeier said.

Allgeier and USTR senior trade negotiator Dorothy Dwoskin were invited to attend the meeting along with European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson by Egyptian Minister of Foreign Trade and Industry Rashid Mohamed Rashid, who hosted the African Union trade ministers. All of the African Union countries were represented at the Cairo meeting, Allgeier said, either at the ministerial level or at a very high official level.

"We had a very good discussion and I think that this is helpful to us as we go back to Geneva for the negotiations," he said.

US officials also had bilateral meetings with ministers from Egypt, Rwanda, Kenya, and South Africa, as well as Zambia, which is the chair of the 50 least-developed countries of the WTO for 2005, and Senegal, which will host the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) Forum in July.

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