Protesters confront a line of police at an anti-WTO demonstration in Hong Kong. Many in East Asia, and across the world, are worried about the sustainability of local industry and agriculture if pro-WTO policies are implemented.
While supporters of the much troubled Doha Round of the World Trade Organization believe talks may have found their second wind, only the world’s largest economies seem to be breathing. The form of capitalism supported by these countries is resisted by poorer nations, which rightly fear WTO deregulations would disproportionately benefit the wealthy.
Progress has been made at global trade talks and a deal might be possible, negotiators have said.
Earlier, the head of the World Trade Organization warned that the long-running Doha round would fail unless a compromise could be reached.
EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson and WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell both said there were encouraging signs.
A meeting of the world’s biggest trading nations finished “in a spirit of cooperation”, Mr Rockwell said.