Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu is joining 1,000 other officials from 159 member countries of the World Trade Organisation at its ninth ministerial conference that opened in Bali, Indonesia on December 3.

The three-day conference, chaired by Indonesian Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan, also saw the participation of 20 observer states and Palestine.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono emphasised the importance of the event, which is expected to resolve a deadlock in the Doha Round of trade talks launched 12 years ago, which came to a standstill due to disparities among developed and developing members.

The president called for political will, unanimity and flexibility of member countries in making breakthrough progress and win-win solutions on pressing issues including agriculture, trade facilitation and the least developed countries or LDCs.

He urged participants to focus their discussion on the Bali package, which includes many sensitive technical issues such as tariffs, export competition, support to agricultural products of developing countries and favourable conditions for trade and trade negotiations.

Meanwhile, in his speech, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said the conference is a chance to break the Doha Round deadlock and strengthen cooperation relations that can lead to stronger multilateral cooperation, developing global trade reform principles and fighting against protectionism and helping member states to resume growth, create jobs and develop.

At the latest conference in Geneva, WTO members could not reach a consensus on agreements included in the Bali package, which is the focus of this Bali conference.

In the December 3 working session, participants also heard speeches by ministers and discussed ways to boost multilateral trade in the current global economic and political situation.

On December 4 and 5, the ministers are scheduled to focus on the Bali package in connection with the WTO multilateral trade system, trade and development, while seeking ways to speed up the Doha Round.

They will also talk issues related to food security, support for production and the export of agricultural products, public purchase and the removal of trans-border trade barriers.-VNA