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G8 agrees to, open trade, boosts farm aid

Group of 8 leaders will  agree to fight trade protectionism and mobilise billions over the next three years to boost agricultural investment in the developing world, according to reports.


The summit of the world’s leading industrialised nations which convened in L’Aquila, Italy, Wednesday through today said talks that would focus on food security, aid, climate change, trade and the world economy.
A draft, obtained by Reuters, calls for a conclusion of the Doha trade talks but does not set a timeline for finishing the negotiations.

The draft does not include a figure for how much the G8 would commit to agriculture investment because it is still under discussion, although aid sources said it could be as much as $15 billion.
An agreement on food security is critical following record food price increases and shortages of key commodities last year, which increased hunger and malnutrition worldwide.

The G8 includes the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia.
According to the draft, leaders will express concern about global food security and agree that sustained and predictable funding, and increased targeted investments in agriculture are urgently needed to increase world food production.

The G8 will also urge countries to remove food export restrictions or extraordinary taxes, especially for food bought for humanitarian purposes.


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