WTO urged to heed weaker economies

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The Independent Online

The World Trade Organization should heed the views of developing nations, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Thursday, especially in light of the demonstrations outside a free-trade meeting in the United States.

The World Trade Organization should heed the views of developing nations, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Thursday, especially in light of the demonstrations outside a free-trade meeting in the United States.

"People are protesting against the WTO because the powerful economic forces wanted to spread their tentacles in order to be able take over, literally, the whole world," Mahathir was quoted as saying by the national Bernama news agency.

"If the WTO is to work, it should take into consideration all the views of the weaker economies," Mahathir said on the sidelines of an air show on the northern Malaysian resort island of Langkawi.

The world will only have a fair trade regime if the rich and powerful accept the claims of others, he said.

"We must never think that what one country can do, the other country can also do," Mahathir said.

Mahathir, a perennial critic of bodies like the International Monetary Fund and the WTO, has long championed the cause of Third World nations, saying the West often exploits these countries.

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