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Exporting countries to meet in Saskatchewan to talk agriculture

Published by Steve Coleman on September 07, 2011

The world's top agricultural exporting countries will be meeting in Saskatoon from Sept. 7-9 to look at ways to open the doors to freer trade.

Discussions will be among Cairns Group members from 19 developed and developing agriculture exporting countries that want "further trade liberalisation in agriculture." Members include Indonesia, Brazil, Malaysia, Chile, New Zealand, Argentina and Peru.

In addition to member countries, the group has also invited representatives from the European Union, Japan, Russia and the United States to take part.

The main thrust of the most-recent meeting will be trying to find ways to get the gridlocked Doha Round of trade negotiations moving. This year's World Trade Organization meeting will take place in Geneva this December.

The 36th Cairns Group Ministerial Meeting will be co-chaired by Canadian Minister of Agriculture Gerry Ritz and Australian Trade Minister Craig Emerson.

"The world produces more than enough food to feed itself," Dr Emerson said in a pre-conference news release. "Despite this, an estimated one billion people go to bed hungry every night. Removing trade barriers and ensuring an open global trading system will increase the supply of food and help more food get to where it is needed."

As a part of this week's meeting, participants will also look at ways to bring Russia into the WTO. It's the largest economy without WTO affiliation.

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