India for fair outcome at WTO's Bali Ministerial meet: Sharma

The meet was convened by Australia to push the long- stalled Doha Round of talks for reaching a global trade deal.

New Delhi: India will remain fully engaged with all key stakeholders from developed and developing nations to find a fair and balanced outcome at WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Bali in December, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said Tuesday.

The minister made these observations during his meetings with the outgoing World Trade Organisation (WTO) Chief Pascal Lamy and Designate Director General Roberto Carvalho de Azev’do in Paris, an official statement said.

The meet was convened by Australia to push the long- stalled Doha Round of talks for reaching a global trade deal.

During the meeting, Sharma informed the WTO head that India will play a constructive role in ensuring successful outcome in the Bali Ministerial, the statement added.

The 9th WTO Ministerial Conference is scheduled to take place from December 3-6 in Bali, Indonesia. The Conference is the highest decision-making body of the 158-member strong WTO. It meets every two years.

The key WTO members are trying to resolve some of the major issues and reach a consensus on a early harvest package which would benefit all the members.

Under that, rich nations, including the US, want India and other emerging economies to be part of the four major sectoral pacts -- Trade Facilitation, IT, environmental goods and international services agreement.

The Doha talks, launched in 2001, have missed several deadlines due to divergent views on some of the issues like agriculture subsidies between the developed countries like the US and developing nations such as India.

Besides, Sharma stressed that the centrality of multilateral processes must be retained.

All nations need to work together to strengthen WTO as an institution, said the statement, quoting Sharma.

The minister is also scheduled to attend an informal WTO Ministerial meeting which will discuss the possible outcome at December Bali Ministerial, it added.

Recognising the importance of Trade Facilitation and upgrading infrastructure at border, ports and customs procedures to boost exports, Sharma underscored the need for addressing the concerns of food security which have been outlined in a proposal presented by G-33 countries.