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Agriculture Minister to push for open markets at world trade talks

Alberta's Agriculture Minister will be traveling to Geneva, Switzerland for the World Trade Organization negotiations to advocate an ambitious agreement which would provide new market opportunities for Alberta's agri-food indusrty.The negotiations will take place from May 3 to 8, 2008.


May 2, 2008
By Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

April 30, 2008

EdmontonAgriculture and
Rural Development Minister George Groeneveld will advocate for an ambitious
World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement that provides new market opportunities
for
Alberta’s agri-food
industry at WTO negotiations in
Geneva, Switzerland.

From May 3 – 8, the
Minister will meet with federal negotiators, ambassadors from key WTO member
countries, as well as high-level WTO officials to press
Alberta’s trade interests. The Minister
will be accompanied by a contingent of industry representatives from
Alberta and across Canada.

“A successful and timely
completion of the agriculture negotiations is essential for the growth and
sustainability of
Alberta’s producers, ranchers and
processors,” said Groeneveld. “It is critical that the final agreement secures
new markets for
Alberta products, eliminates export
subsidies and significantly reduces trade-distorting farm support in other
countries.”

Over the five days, the
Minister will meet with several ambassadors from key WTO member countries including:
U.S., European Commission, Australia, Japan, Brazil, India, China and South Africa. The Minister will also meet with
high-ranking WTO officials and the chair of the agriculture negotiations.

The total cost of the trip
for Groeneveld and his executive assistant is estimated at $23,000 including
travel, accommodations and meeting costs.