Ministers at world trade talks in Hong Kong say they are making some progress after days of impasse over liberalizing world trade. The delegates are considering a draft statement that sets a timetable for ending wealthy nations' farm subsidies.
A copy of the draft released on Saturday suggests eliminating the subsidies by 2010. But the European Union objects to that date, saying it is too soon. Poor countries, which would benefit most from the move, say the plan does not go far enough and does not set a firm date for ending the subsidies -- one of their core demands. But Mexico's Secretary of Economy ,Sergio Garcia de Alba says advances made this week significant, although small. Negotiators say they hope to finalize a draft of the plan by Sunday. The trade deal would advance the Doha Development Agenda, a four-year-old program designed to make sure poor nations benefit from global free trade.