Need to press on with $136 bn Doha deal: expert

July 30th, 2008 - 10:39 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 30 (IANS) It is necessary to keep the Doha Round going as a deal can still generate $136 billion for the global economy, a leading trade body said Wednesday. “Life will go on for the World Trade Organisation. The existing system is robust enough. According to some estimates, the Doha Development Round would have infused another US$ 136 billion into the global economy. So it is desirable, even necessary,” said Pradeep S. Mehta, secretary general of CUTS, a leading consumer policy research and advocacy group which works on trade and regulatory issues.

“The Round is on… In fact, many volunteered to keep their July 2008 offers on the table for the future,” he added.

Global trade talks collapsed at the WTO in Geneva Tuesday after the US disagreed with India and China over safeguards designed to protect developing country farmers from sudden export surges.

Atul Kaushish, director of the CUTS Resource Centre in Geneva, said US negotiators were “egged on” by their agribusiness to oppose India and China, which represented some 100 developing countries.

“The Doha Round will succeed when the world leaders realise that they agreed to a Development Round in 2001 and will have to deliver,” he said.

“Long distance and high decibel telephone calls may have worked earlier. Now, the democratically elected leaders will listen more to the measly whine of the poor in their constituencies more than development assistance-laden world leaders,” Kaushish added in an apparent reference to reports that US President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had three telephone conversations last week to discuss the WTO talks.

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