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Brussels, 13 March 2002

Internet chat with EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy: Development - what role for trade?

EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy will hold an online chat on 14 March 2002 from 18 :00 to 20 :00 hours (CET). The theme is trade and development, but he will take questions on any topical trade-related subject. Join him for this opportunity to put your views and questions on trade issues.

Trade is an engine for development. It's often a country's biggest single source of finance for it. That is why the European Union is using all multilateral opportunities to build up momentum for it, and why the International Conference on Financing for Development to be held in Monterrey, Mexico 18-22 March is an important milestone.

The Doha Development Agenda, launched at the World Trade Organization Ministerial meeting in November, was a big step forward. It places development concerns at the heart of all aspects of trade negotiations. So do the European Union's own efforts to integrate poor countries into the world economy. The EU's Cotonou Agreement with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries is an example of linking trade and development, as is the 'Everything But Arms' market-opening package for Least Developed Countries. The EU is doing more on these lines, with technical assistance to help all countries play a full part in the world trade system. In Monterrey, we can take an overview of our efforts and set goals for the future.

So how can trade best contribute to sustainable development? How can all our initiatives, bilateral and multilateral, be linked to enhance one another? What's the best way to get developing countries involved in the world trade system? How can the conference in Monterrey pave the way for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg next August?

Time: 1800-2000 Central European time

Date: 14 March 2002

Languages: You can put questions in English, French, German and Spanish and expect answers in the same language.

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