By FWi staff

FARM and trade ministers from 15 Cairns Group countries will meet in Australia this week to discuss the further liberalisation of world agricultural trade.

The ministers will gather in Sydney on 2-3 April to discuss which strategy they will take to the negotiating table at next years World Trade Organisation talks.

It is expected that the Cairns Group countries will use the WTO talks to push for increased access to world food markets and reductions in trade tariffs and farm subsidies. But they are likely to be opposed by the European Union which has a more protectionist attitude towards global trade .

The 15 Cairns Group countries are Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Paraguay, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, and Uruguay