16 May 2003

Market access chairman issues first draft of “modalities” paper

The Chairman of the Non-Agricultural Market Access Negotiating Group, Ambassador Pierre-Louis Girard, on 16 May 2003 circulated the first draft of the “modalities” paper to member governments, ahead of the 26-28 May meeting of the Negotiating Group.

The “modalities” are targets for achieving the objectives of the negotiations. Due to be established by 31 May 2003, they will set parameters of the final agreements to be reached by 1 January 2005.

The draft is based on the work carried out during the series of formal and informal sessions of the NGMA starting on 2 August 2002 and conducted in accordance with the mandate provided by Ministers at Doha, and the work programme adopted by the NGMA on 19 July 2002.

In his introduction, Ambassador Girard (Switzerland) says the paper “... is not in anyway comprehensive. Rather it should be seen as a set of basic elements for possible modalities, which will need to be adjusted, completed, refined, or further expanded upon. It is hoped that these Draft Elements will further stimulate the constructive discussions which have taken place between participants so as to enable them to build up a consensus on modalities for negotiations on tariffs and non-tariff barriers”.

> Draft Elements of Modalities for Negotiations on Non-Agricultural Products