From: Reuters
Published January 26, 2006 12:00 AM

German Chancellor Urges Common Social, Environment, Trade Approach

DAVOS, Switzerland — German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Wednesday for international bodies to develop common standards in social and environmental policy and push ahead with trade liberalisation.


"We need to knit environmental protection and social measures together with the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund, with the World Bank," Merkel told the opening session of the World Economic Forum.


"These things have to be coordinated with each other."


Merkel, making her first appearance as German chancellor at the Davos meeting, made a strong plea for a successful outcome to the Doha world trade round. She said this would require fair access for developing countries to world markets.


She also said the world needed to go further to develop common standards in areas like social and environmental policy, a suggestion some developing countries view as disguised trade protectionism and have in the past resisted.


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"I think bilateral agreements between individual groups in the world ... will not get us very far," she said. "We have to learn to reach agreements with each other in a global world."


"We need to reach an understanding about the foundations of our common values," she added. "It will not be possible to reach agreement on common political and economic interests without sharing common ethical grounds."


Source: Reuters


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