Focus: On the Road to Hong Kong?(Number 6, 14 December 2005)

13 December, 2005

Today was the first day of negotiations proper. However, there was very little movement in any of the negotiating areas, including in the green room meetings where most of the time was devoted to process issues. The day saw a PR exercise unfold for the US, EU and Japan with all three touting their loans and bribes in the form of empty 'aid for trade' packages. Serious questions were raised as to whether the proposals of the EU ($5 billion to LDCs) and US ($2.7 billion in total to 2010) were able to paid for and what conditions would be attached to them. The Japanese model was harshly critiqued as being a loan program which would push LDCs further into debt. Last night a new group meet for the first time comprised of the G90, G20 and G33 -