‘Doha Round success hinges on ensuring livelihood of poor’

May 16th, 2008 - 5:45 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 16 (IANS) Success of the Doha Round of world trade talks depends on both developed and developing nations and cannot be achieved if the livelihood of the poor is not secured, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said Friday. “If the round fails to deliver on its development promise and gets converted into yet another market access round for the benefit of the wealthier nations, the current efforts being made by India and many other developing countries to conclude it within the next few months will not have much chance of success,” Kamal Nath said in a statement issued here.

“It was vital for India to first secure the livelihoods of its poor and vulnerable farmers before it could move on to any other issue,” the minister said.

He added that the success of the talks, which started under the aegis of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), lies on the “critical factor” of the rich nations showing some flexibility in changing the global trade structure.

“Major trading nations such as the US and the EC (European Commission) have to display leadership and not lay the onus for the round’s success only on developing members,” Kamal Nath said.

The minister met US Trade Representative Susan Schwab last week in New York to discuss ways to amicably conclude the talks.

The 151 member-countries of the WTO launched a new round of negotiations in Doha in Qatar in 2001 to agree upon a multilateral rule-based trading system that seeks to reduce agricultural subsidies and trade barriers.

Since then, the talks have failed to reach a conclusion as India and other developing countries demand that rich nations such as the US and the European Union states reduce their farm subsidies and throw open their agricultural markets by significantly cutting tariffs.

On the other side, developed nations want developing countries to drastically reduce tariffs on their industrial produce and service liberalisation.

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