3. WTO ministers reach first ever trade deal
The world's trade ministers have reached an agreement on some points for global trade liberalization at a ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization. It is the first WTO agreement on free trade.
Ministers from 159 member nations and territories of the trade organization unanimously adopted a declaration on Bali, Indonesia, on Saturday, after extending the session for one day.
The agreement came after the wording was modified in response to objections by Cuba and some other nations that developed countries led the creation of the draft document.
The declaration says WTO members reached an agreement in 3 areas -- agriculture, development, and simplifying customs procedures.
These areas involve few conflicting interests for negotiators engaged in the Doha round of talks.
The agreement is the first in which all WTO members supported a new trade rule since the organization was created in 1995.
Analysts note that the agreement came as governments around the world are shifting their trade policies to bilateral or regional talks, such as Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.
They say the WTO managed to prove its ability to promote multi-national negotiations with the latest agreement on some issues.
But WTO members continue to face difficult negotiations as disagreements run deep in remaining areas, such as lowering tariffs.