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WTO urges cooperation in natural resources trade

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) on Friday called for closer international cooperation in the global trading of natural resources. In the World Trade Report 2010 that focuses on natural resources, the WTO said the tension between rising demand for natural resources and their scarcity and exhaustibility is a challenge facing modern society.

This tension is likely to increase, especially due to the recovering global economy, spreading industrialisation and the rise of emerging economies, according to the report released Friday in Shanghai. “Fears of inadequate access to supplies in resource-scarce countries and of inappropriate exploitation in resource-rich regions could lead to trade conflicts or worse,” it said.

Adequately defined rules for international cooperation, built on a shared perception of gain, would help to avoid such conflicts, the report said. “I believe that there is not only room for mutually beneficial negotiating trade-offs that encompass natural resources trading, but also that a failure to address these issues could be a recipe for growing tensions in international trade relations,” Pascal Lamy, WTO' s Director-General, wrote in the foreword.

The global trade of natural resources expanded by more than six times to $3.7 trillion, in the ten years through 2008, it said. — Xinhua

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