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India cannot be blamed for Doha deadlock: Anand Sharma

Last Updated: Sunday, August 30, 2009 - 14:38

Mumbai: Defending India`s stand on the Doha talks, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said it was wrong to blame India for the deadlock and on the contrary New Delhi was making an effort to re-engage in the multilateral global trade deal.

"There has been a deadlock for close to 14 months for various reasons. Sometimes, it has been projected that there was non-agreement and it was India which was responsible. No, that`s not correct. We took a position. Other developing countries took a position," Sharma said at a function here last night.

The Doha round of talks had collapsed at Geneva in July last year primarily on concerns over level of protection available to farmers in the developing countries in the multilateral global trade pact.
"If the talks collapse, then nobody is the gainer. Our objective is to re-engage and put in place a rule-based multilateral trade regime which is fair, equitable and which corrects the historical distortions that have hurt the developing world," Sharma said.

India is hosting the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting in New Delhi this week, which would be attended by major groupings like the G-20 led by India and Brazil, African Group led by Egypt, the US and the European Union.

India`s stand would be to ensure that the new regime took on board the legitimate aspirations of the developing nations, he added.

Sharma flayed protectionist measures taken by larger economies and cautioned that it would only deepen the recession.

"It (protectionism) will deepen the recession and delay the recovery. Therefore, no government should go in for protectionist measures. India has shown maturity in this respect by signing trade agreements with ASEAN and South Korea," he said.
India signed a free trade agreement with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), paving the way for duty free trade in about 4,000 products, including apparel, leather, silk and processed food for the next seven years.

It also clinched the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) deal with South Korea, which would open up trade and investment between the two countries.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, August 30, 2009 - 14:38
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