Doha trade talks resume in Geneva

Last Updated: Monday, September 14, 2009 - 23:54

New Delhi/Geneva: Trade talks resumed in WTO headquarters at Geneva today, 10 days after 30 ministers broke the impasse on Doha negotiations, aimed at reaching a global pact for opening USD 32 trillion international commerce.

Senior officials from key nations began their preliminary
discussions, mainly on the contentious issues relating to the
farm subsidies in rich nations and livelihood concerns of
farmers in developing countries, which are also seeking
flexibilities in protecting their fledgling industries.

"Besides the multi-lateral talks, negotiators will engage
themselves in a lot of bilateral meetings in the next few days
to assess whether reaching a common ground is possible," an
official said.

The hardcore negotiations will kick off tomorrow at a
meeting to be chaired by Director General of World Trade
Organisation (WTO) Pascal Lamy.

India`s negotiating team is headed by Additional Secretary
in the Commerce Minister D K Mittal.

The talks are resuming after a gap of 14 months. At
Geneva in July 2008, the ministers failed to reach a consensus
as India remained steadfast on protecting its farmers and the
US seeking higher market access for its agri products in
advanced developing countries like India.

The Doha Round of negotiations for liberalising the world
trade launched in 2001 was to conclude in 2005. However,
differences between the rich and developing counties have come
in the way of reaching a global trade agreement.

The WTO, which has predicted a 10 pert cent fall in
international trade due to the economic crisis, has called
upon the G-20 leaders to "undertake a stronger commitment to
open markets and make concrete their call to conclude the Doha
Round in 2010".

Leaders of the G-20, a grouping of rich and the advanced
developing countries, will meet at Pittsburgh later this
month.

Bureau Report



First Published: Monday, September 14, 2009 - 23:54

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