The Doha round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) talks that collapsed last week need to be restarted, South African President Thabo Mbeki said here on Sunday.
The South African government said in a statement issued after the cabinet meeting that the failure of the WTO talks even after a G8 leaders' commitment to conclude the talks within a month was noted with disappointment.
"The failure represents another lost opportunity to improve trade relations between developing nations and the industrialized countries," the statement said.
Mbeki said at a press conference in Pretoria: "What happened last week was not the final word on this matter... The issues are of critical importance to developing countries."
Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa was already in talks with "others" to get the talks started again, the president said.
The European Union, the United States, India, Brazil, Australia and Japan failed to agree, at the talks last weekend in Geneva, on how to unlock the WTO so-called development round of talks which have lasted over five years.
Mbeki said it was important to have a global agreement on trade, rather than a series of bilateral agreements on the matter which was what would happen if the round failed.