EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht has met with the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation Pascal Lamy in his first official meeting after taking office earlier this week. The visit underlines the importance that the European Commission places upon a rules-based multilateral free-trading system and the vital role the WTO plays in ensuring its effectiveness.

Commissioner De Gucht said, "I am very grateful to WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy for his warm welcome here in Geneva today. We held a very positive meeting that covered a number of key trade issues but especially the role of trade as a driver for growth during economic recovery as well as the importance of concluding the Doha Development Round."

The visit also underlined Commissioner De Gucht's commitment to make the further strengthening of the multilateral trading system one of his priorities as EU Trade Commissioner.

"The EU has always been committed to working within a rules-based multilateral trading system and I will ensure that this remains the case. I will work very closely with our partners in the WTO to ensure that markets remain open and protectionist-free; especially at this time of recovery from the global down-turn. It is very clear that trade is a key factor to help us out of the economic crisis. And one of the best ways to keep protectionism at bay is to conclude the Doha Development Round as soon as possible. In this respect, I will do my upmost to ensure a successful and satisfactory agreement is reached for all parties", Commissioner De Gucht added.


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