Tue, 06 May 2008
US Trade Representative Susan Schwab was to discuss ways to boost trade with Southeast Asia and wrap up long-running world trade talks in meetings beginning on Thursday in Bali, according to a statement reported by Reuters.

"Southeast Asia is one of the most economically dynamic regions in the world," Schwab said in a statement before leaving for Bali.

The chief US trade negotiator was to meet with trade ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to discuss an initiative to increase regional trade and investment flows.

Trade ministers from New Zealand, Australia and India were then to join Schwab and the ASEAN ministers for talks on the Doha round, which is now in its seventh year.

Negotiators at World Trade Organization headquarters in Geneva are awaiting revised texts on agriculture and manufactured goods, which could set the stage for a meeting of WTO trade ministers in May to take another stab at achieving a breakthrough.

Schwab was also to meet in Bali with Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Pangestu for bilateral talks on reducing trade and investment barriers.



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