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What does Switzerland want in Seattle?

Swiss Economics Minister Pascal Couchepin has clearly stated at the World Trade Organisation’s ministerial meeting in the U.S. city of Seattle that Switzerland would like to see more global trade liberalisation – but not at any cost.

Swiss Economics Minister Pascal Couchepin has clearly stated at the World Trade Organisation’s ministerial meeting in the U.S. city of Seattle that Switzerland would like to see more global trade liberalisation – but not at any cost.

He praised the WTO’s performance during the Asian financial crisis, and the world trade watchdog’s ability to weather the storm.

However, the minister said that the environmental impact of trade reforms and the fate of developing nations must not be ignored in a new round of negotiations.

Following are Switzerland’s trade interests as outlined by Couchepin:

— Continue trade liberalisation, define related regulations and promote global coherence in the commerce, finance and monetary sectors.

— Harmonise national trade policies with global trade practices.

— Tackle the issues of direct investment and competition.

— Make environmental protection an integral part of trade talks.

— Improve market access for products from developing nations.

From staff and wire reports.









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