Delay in concluding Doha pact will encourage protectionism: PM
New Delhi: Applauding the global trade
ministers for breaking the logjam over Doha Round of talks,
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said delay in resuming
talks would have encouraged voices of protectionism.
Interacting with the trade ministers of the WTO member
countries, who are in the capital to attend the two-day
informal ministerial meeting, Singh said if Doha process was
allowed to remain inconclusive, it would hurt all economies,
especially the vulnerable ones, already hit by the financial
Complimenting the trade ministers for having reached a
consensus for resuming Doha talks within 10 days in Geneva, he
said, "this will uplift the animal spirit of economic agents
all over the world."
The trade ministers of WTO-member countries agreed that
chief negotiators and senior officials will meet in Geneva for
a week beginning September 14 to restart the negotiation
Talks had collapsed in Geneva in July 2008, after India,
among others, opposed agriculture subsidies offered by rich
nations to their farmers on the grounds that this distorts
trade by making produce of developing countries costly.
Among those who met Singh at his residence include US
Trade Representative Ron Kirk, WTO Director General Pascal
Lamy and Brazilian External Affairs Minister Celso Luiz Nunez
Pointing out that India had an abiding interest in an
open, liberal and rule-based global trade regime, Singh
expressed the hope that success achieved by the trade
ministers in Delhi meeting would help the world leaders in
their deliberation at G-20 Summit scheduled in Pittsburgh
later this month.
The ministers of the WTO-member countries complimented
India for its initiative to convene the informal ministerial
meeting and termed it an "extraordinary success".
While key WTO members from about 30 countries agreed to
remain engaged in negotiating a global trade agreement,
countries, both from developed and developing world, did not
hesitate from tough posturing.
The two-day meeting which concluded today did not come
out with any declaration, but a summary of the deliberations
was released by India which chaired of the meeting.