No compromise on key issues in WTO talks: India

November 17th, 2008 - 7:07 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Nov 17 (ANI): Union Minister for Trade and Commerce said in New Delhi on Monday that India will not compromise on some of the issues which have stalled world trade talks, such as protecting its farm sector.
But Nath said a ministerial meeting could be convened to discuss how to take forward the Doha round of trade talks.
“Negotiations are continuing in Geneva. You see if there can be convergence and certainly this doesn”t mean that we will be compromising on some of the basic issues, which we have. Time lines are not going to dictate the content of the concerns we have. Well anybody can be calling and we can have a ministry. The question is not having a ministerial (meeting), the question is whether our concerns are being met or not,” Nath told reporters at the World Economic Forum India Economic Summit in New Delhi.
World leaders agreed on Saturday to strive for a major breakthrough in the long-running world trade talks by the end of the year and pledged not to raise any new trade barriers for the next 12 months, as part of a G-20 meeting to discuss the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.
The world trade talks have lurched from one crisis to the next since countries agreed in 2001 to launch the negotiations.
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said at the weekend meeting a successful conclusion to the multilateral trade talks would be an important confidence builder for the world economy.
With U.S. President George W. Bush set to leave office on January 20, many countries would like to wrap up the basics of a Doha agreement before his successor, President-elect Barack Obama, takes over.
Trade ministers meeting in Geneva in July came very near to reaching a breakthrough, but that effort collapsed when the United States clashed with fellow G20 members, India and China, over the terms of a “special safeguard mechanism” to protect farmers of poor countries from a surge in imports.
India’’s exports have been hit by the global economic slowdown. Export growth in dollar terms slowed to an annual rate of 10.4 per cent in September, the slowest pace in 18 months.
Nath said the pace at which exports were growing was falling although the country was still on course to meet its 2008-09 export goal of 200 billion dollar.
“We are looking at various measures which can help sustain exports. We are working on this package because this situation was not there in the last month. There is a decline in many areas and those areas will need to be addressed,” he said.
Nath added that Dr. Singh was meeting his economic committee later on Monday and would discuss steps to take to sustain exports. (ANI)

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