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WTO meet: Industry oppose to zero duty regime

Last Updated: Sunday, August 30, 2009 - 15:48

New Delhi: Ahead of the informal WTO ministerial meeting, Indian industry strongly opposed a proposal of the developed countries that duty on specific sectors be eliminated under the sectoral initiative of the Doha Round of trade talks.

" any stage `development dimension` of the Doha talks cannot be overlooked...sectoral tariff negotiations should remain non-mandatory," Ficci President Harsh Pati Singhania said in a statement.
Under the proposal being pushed by the industrialised nations, duty on a particular sector of interest to them should be completely eliminated and the provision be made mandatory.

However, developing countries like India are opposing the mandatory provision in the proposal stating that their industries are at nascent stages of development and need certain protection till they reach the stage at developed nations.

It added that the ministers participating in the WTO meet here should prepare a doable action plan with clear targets towards concluding the Doha negotiations by 2010.

"We urge the participating ministers to use this opportunity for readying a blueprint with timelines. This would be critical for completing the Doha talks within the present deadline of next year," Singhania said.
India is hosting a WTO ministerial meeting here next month to be attended by all major groupings like the G-20 led by Brazil, African Group led by Egypt, the US and the EU.

The meeting, on September 3-4, is aimed at resumptions of the WTO talks which got snapped at Geneva in July 2008.

Quoting a recent study, Ficci said world`s exports would annually rise by USD 180-520 billion from conclusion of Doha round.

The chamber added that besides agriculture and industrial goods, it is necessary to have faster and substantive developments in services negotiations which have remained dormant so far.

"In view of their considerable strengths and competitive advantages, Indian professionals and service providers expect significant gains from the Doha round in terms of enhanced market access in major export destinations," the chamber said.

In 2008, the country`s share was less than 3 percent of the USD 3.7 trillion worth of global exports of commercial services, it added.

The WTO talks for a global trade deal was collapsed at Geneva in July 2008 when India and the US locked horns mainly on the issue of giving protection to the farmers of developing countries.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, August 30, 2009 - 15:48
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