A surprise world trade deal struck over the weekend by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Bali, Indonesia has been enthusiastically welcomed by EU leaders.
“Potential gains for the global economy could be as high as $1 trillion,” said José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission. “Trade costs for mature economies will be reduced by 10%, the deal will help developing countries save around 325 billion euros a year and the agreement will bring vital help to the poorest people across the globe in the least developed countries.”
Karel de Gucht, European commissioner for trade, said the deal has “saved the WTO”. After many years of failed rounds of negotiations, a belief had been emerging that the WTO was incapable of bringing about global trade deals. “This is the first comprehensive WTO deal since 1995 which will deliver improvement on trade facilitation, development issues and agriculture, including food security,” said Barroso.
The deal is supposed to simplify customs procedures and reduce import duties, lowering the cost of exports particularly for developing countries. Strong exporting countries such as Germany are set to benefit the most from the deal.
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