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Global trade talks to resume

July collapse called a `serious accident'

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Rich countries and developing nations agreed yesterday that global trade talks should resume, but they failed to set a date for formal negotiations.

The collapse of the Doha round of talks in July was a ``serious accident" and discussions since then had helped improve chances for further negotiations, World Trade Organization Director General Pascal Lamy said.

Agreement that talks should be resumed was clear, he said, after meeting trade ministers from the G20 group of developing nations, the United States, Japan, and the European Union.

``All members of the WTO have answered that question, including here, by saying yes, we want the negotiations to continue, that's what I hear," Lamy said.

Lamy said the discussions should focus on farm subsidies and market access, the main reasons for the talks' collapse.

The talks, which were launched in the Qatari capital in 2001, have been billed as a once-in-a-generation chance to inject up to $300 billion a year into the world economy and lift millions of people out of poverty.

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