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India to press for reforms in WTO functioning

Last Updated: Saturday, November 21, 2009 - 15:58

New Delhi: In the run-up to the seventh WTO Ministerial Meeting in Geneva beginning November 30, India has
proposed urgent reforms in the functioning of the multilateral
trade body.

More transparency on the issues related to the non-trade
barriers tops the list of India`s reform agenda.

The country`s efforts at bringing in reforms in the
functioning of the WTO has already been lauded by South
Africa, a key partner in several alliances of the developing
countries built by India and others for seeking a fair global
trade deal for them.

"Again India has led the way and has tabled proposals for
systematic reforms of the WTO," South African delegation head
at the WTO Faizel Ismail said at a function organised by CUTS
International, a trade and consumer think-tank here.

The reforms suggested by Indian negotiators include
proposals for establishing a web-based trade information
system, strengthening of the committees and enhancing the work
programme on regional trade agreements.

Ismail said with the leadership provided by India, the
developing country groups have come out stronger from the
collapse of Doha Round talks in July and December 2008.

"They (developing countries) are scheduled to hold a
series of ministerial meetings next week in Geneva to
demonstrate the unity of purpose, including in the grand
coalition of G110 that includes all the major developing
country groups in the WTO," Ismail said.

With the Doha Round issues being kept off the official
agenda at the Geneva meeting-- from November 30 to December
2--the summit will concentrate on the issues of transparency
in WTO functioning.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, November 21, 2009 - 15:58
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