Brazil sees progress in Doha talks, EU cautious

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 5 (Reuters) Brazil believes considerable progress is possible toward clinching a global trade deal before the end of the year, while the EU wants increased access to developing countries, officials said on Monday.

''Today we are very close to a final accord. We lack only a little bit of political will to get to a final result. It depends on political attitudes,'' Brazil's Foreign Minister Celso Amorim told reporters at a foreign policy conference in Rio de Janeiro.

''I think it is possible that at the end of the year we will reach an accord on basic numbers, on the basic framework of (WTO chief) Pascal Lamy,'' he said.

The United States and the European Union have taken important steps toward opening markets and cutting subsidies, but ''several obscure elements'' remained, Amorim added.

India last week also said that negotiators were closer than ever before to reaching a deal.

The talks, which were launched six years ago to boost trade and help reduce poverty, floundered last month as negotiators disagreed over draft texts proposed by Lamy.

Developing countries, led by Brazil and India, have demanded better access to rich country markets for their agricultural goods, while the rich nations want the poorer countries to open up their markets to manufactured goods and services.

EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson warned on Monday that mid-sized developing countries were offering too little market access for manufactured products.

''An attempt is being made to shift the goal posts further to the point where competitive, emerging economies ... will end up making next to no contribution to new trade flows in this Round,'' Mandelson told the European Parliament.

''That is simply not acceptable. Not just for the EU, but because this would negate any gains from South-South trade,'' Mandelson added, referring to trade between developing countries.

Brazil is one of the world's largest agriculture exporters and leader of developing countries in pushing rich nations for more market access.

Industry leaders have backed Brazil's tough stance while farmers want their government to grant more concessions and lock in EU and US farm offers already on the table.

New draft texts are expected soon at the WTO in Geneva that could bring countries closer on farm subsidies and tariffs, as well as opening manufactured goods markets to more trade.

(Additional reporting by William Schomberg in Brussels and Raymond Colitt in Brasilia, Translated by Angus MacSwan; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Jackie Frank) REUTERS MP AS0300

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