Recognizing the importance of promoting an open and predictable environment for trade and investment, and the significant role this plays in fostering economic growth and development, the Four Plus One Coordinators met in Montevideo, Uruguay, on December 6-7, 2001, to review progress since the meeting of our Ministers in Washington, D.C., on September 24, 2001, under the auspices of the 1991 Rose Garden Agreement.
We expressed our satisfaction with the successful launch of the new round of WTO negotiations at Doha, Qatar, and with our contribution to the achievement of an ambitious agenda in agriculture. We reaffirmed our commitment to the elimination of export subsidies. We will continue to work together to ensure the completion of the WTO negotiations by January 1, 2005.
We reaffirmed our commitment to establish the Free Trade Area of the Americas no later than January 1, 2005, and recognized the importance of meeting the objectives set by the Buenos Aires Ministerial to initiate Market Access negotiations by May 15, 2002.
In order to meet these goals and recognizing the need to produce revised text by the October 2002 Ministerial, we have agreed to intensify and deepen our efforts to consult and cooperate in order to advance the negotiation process, concentrating our efforts on specific aspects of the negotiating groups.
The Working Groups established by our Ministers are the appropriate mechanism to pursue our efforts to eliminate obstacles to trade and investment, as well as to address particular issues of mutual interest, all with the goal of creating increased market access opportunities.
We received the report of the Working Group on Trade in Agricultural Goods and instructed our technical experts to proceed with the agenda agreed upon during the group's last meeting, and to focus its efforts in areas amenable to significant improvements to trade.
We agreed that the Industrial Trade Working Group would convene a first meeting during the first quarter of 2002, with the purpose of reviewing technical barriers to trade and beginning to identify specific obstacles to market access.
We agreed to hold meetings of the Electronic Commerce and Investment Development Working Groups during the first quarter of 2002. These groups will work closely with the private sector of each country, according to jointly developed criteria.
We expect to receive reports on the progress of the Working Groups on Trade in Agricultural Goods, Trade in Industrial Goods, Electronic Commerce and Investment Development at our next meeting to be held during the first quarter of 2002.