WTO talks will succeed if they strengthen weakest: Kamal Nath

August 12th, 2008 - 4:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) Talks at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will resume and will be successful if the negotiations focus on strengthening the weakest and not survival of the fittest, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said here Tuesday. “We will see economic architecture not only dictated by World Trade Organisation (WTO) rounds but also technology and demographics… technology meaning broadband,” he said.

“This round is not about increasing prosperity but decreasing poverty, not survival of the fittest but revival of the weakest, if this is the fundamental of the round it will certainly succeed in some way,” Kamal Nath told reporters on the sidelines of a conference.

The two-day conference - on global partnership for development - has been organised jointly by industry lobby Ficci and non-governmental organisation Consumer Unity and Trust Society.

With WTO director general Pascal Lamy currently in India, the trade talks, which collapsed last month in Geneva over a proposal to help poor farmers cope with import surge, are expected to be revived.

During the Geneva talks, it had been suggested that the safeguard mechanism in developing countries come into effect if imports in country surged by 40 percent.

However, India and the other developing countries wanted this trigger to become active in case of a 10 percent volume surge.

The United Progressive Alliance government has expressed concern on market opening clauses like anti-concentration and sectorals.

Sectors like automobile, auto components, textiles, marine products and chemicals in India were likely to be severely hurt if these clauses were included in the final agreement, as this would result in cheaper imports from developed nations.

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