India talks tough again on Doha Round negotiations
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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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