CBI urges ministers to strike deal

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The Independent Online

World leaders must strike a deal at next week's trade summit that benefits the developing world to help "drain the swamp in which terrorism swims", the head of the employers' group, the CBI, said yesterday.

Digby Jones said it was "essential" the ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation in Qatar led to the launch of a new round of trade talks after the failure of Seattle in 1999 when anti-globalisation protestors prevented talks taking place.

"We must renew our efforts to ensure the wider public fully understands the contribution that trade makes to prosperity," he told the CBI conference. "Our message must be that growing trade and investment generates economic growth and that means more for everybody."

Mr Jones said that in the wake of 11 September it was important that countries did not revert to protectionism. "The true liberalisation of trade will help drain the swamp in which terrorism swims," he said. "We must grow the economic cake so that we all share in the benefits. It is wrong to say that the cake is limited in size with us all fighting for the largest slice."

Ministers from 142 countries and representatives of scores of non-governmental organisations will assemble in Doha, the Qatari capital, on Friday, for a six-day conference. The aim of the gathering is to agree the terms on which trade negotiations can begin.