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India talks tough again on Doha Round negotiations

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 15:33

New Delhi: After showing interest to
re-energise the Doha trade talks in the recent past, India
on Wednesday stuck to its tough stand that WTO negotiations can
happen only if concerns of developing nations are addressed.

"... An early conclusion of Doha Round is important;
India is willing to take part in negotiations at the WTO
provided the core concerns of the Round, namely development
concerns of developing nations are addressed," Commerce and
Industry Minister Anand Sharma told Rajya Sabha.

Sharma`s remarks during Question Hour come a day after
India showed its concerns at the WTO headquarters in Geneva
that no real progress was visible from the key member
countries, despite New Delhi showing desire to re-energise the
multi-lateral trade talks.

The Doha Round of negotiations launched in 2001 have
remained virtually stalled since July 2008 when the trade
ministers` meeting in Geneva collapsed due to differences
between the rich and the developing nations mainly on the
level of protection for farmers in developing countries, once
the global trade is liberalised.

India is engaging with partners in G-20 and G-33
(alliances of developing countries) to ensure that historic
distortions are corrected, and the mandate of the Round
including livelihood concerns are addressed," Sharma said.

After taking over charge in the Commerce Ministry,
Sharma had said that India would press for re-energising the
Doha talks.

India is also hosting Trade Ministers` meeting in
September in its endeavour to bridge the gaps. The meeting
will also be attended by WTO Director General Pascal Lamy.

However, Opposition parties including BJP and CPI(M)
have alleged that the UPA government in its second term is
diluting the stand that India would not compromise the
interest of farmers while negotiating a global deal for
opening up of trade.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 15:33
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