Vote over, Geneva welcomes Kamal Nath

July 23rd, 2008 - 6:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Geneva, July 23 (IANS) Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath’s arrival here early Wednesday could galvanise efforts to lay down fair rules of world trade, diplomats said. Diplomats from over three dozen countries are gathered at the World Trade Organization in this Swiss town to try and hammer out a deal aimed at levelling the playing field in global trade, currently skewed in favour rich nations.

But Kamal Nath was a key absentee as the Indian government went for a trust vote.

After a brief visit aimed at testing the waters through bilateral meetings before the talks kicked off Monday, Kamal Nath had to pack his bags in order to be present at the crucial trust vote in New Delhi.

As a result, deliberations in Geneva came to a virtual standstill.

“Nath is one of the key players in these negotiations, so his absence was felt,” said one diplomat.

“He can give a push in all of the areas, not just in any one particular sector,” he told IANS.

After hitting the ground running Wednesday, the Indian minister’s key engagement will be negotiations on services Thursday, where India’s interests are to negotiate a deal that will ensure that Indian IT and other professionals are freely able to travel to and live in rich nations for temporary periods of time.

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