New Zealand's new ambassador to the World Trade Organization, David Walker, has been selected to replace Crawford Falconer, also from New Zealand, as chairman of the WTO agriculture talks. In a statement, Chile's WTO ambassador Mario Matus said, that consensus had emerged among the WTO's 153 members to appoint Walker to chair the negotiations.
Industrial goods and agriculture forms one of the core areas of negotiations in the WTO's Doha round. An outline agreement must be reached in these areas before a comprehensive trade deal can be concluded.
Agriculture is important to developing countries keen to defend the interests of their millions of subsistence farmers. Developing countries would like to see the elimination of distortions in farm trade that benefit rich countries.