By  on September 16, 2005

GENEVA — New World Trade Organization chief Pascal Lamy on Wednesday called on the 148 countries in the Doha talks to aim for a solid package of deals during the Hong Kong trade summit in December.

An agreement needs to be reached "which takes us two-thirds of the way to concluding the round in 2006," he said.

The troubled Doha round talks have been bogged down over major differences between rich and poor countries, and among rich nations, over agriculture. The divisions were instrumental in the collapse of the talks during the last WTO summit in Cancún in September 2003.

Lamy, who took over the helm of the WTO on Sept. 1, said progress on the politically sensitive agriculture issue was a top priority and the U.S. and the European Union must sort out their differences.

Earlier, Lamy told WTO delegates progress on agriculture "is needed urgently." A priority for Hong Kong is to prepare an agreement "on an end date to the elimination of export subsidies."

The need for a solid package on on all elements of the cotton dossier was also on the priority list, he noted.

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