Challenges remain in world trade talks: Kamal Nath

July 8th, 2008 - 9:10 pm ICT by IANS  

By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, July 8 (IANS) Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said Tuesday challenges remain to be overcome in the ongoing Doha Round of world trade talks. “Yes, there are some challenges,” Kamal Nath told IANS after meeting with the European trade commissioner Peter Mandelson in London Monday.

Nath said he will be attending the July 21 meeting of negotiators at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva aimed at breaking a deadlock between developed and developing countries.

The seven-year-old talks have been stalled over the key issues of developed countries giving ground on agricultural subsidies and developing nations lowering tariffs on industrial goods from rich countries.

A joint statement issued after the Monday meeting said India and the European Union are committed to a successful outcome to the coming ministerial meeting in Geneva.

“A successful outcome of the Doha Round, balanced across the full range of market access issues in agriculture, industrial goods and services is essential to secure growth in trade and boost the global economy,” the two trade negotiators said.

“Such an outcome would also further integrate developing countries into the world economy while fully reflecting the developmental objectives of the Round, including sensitivities in agriculture,” they said.

Nath and Mandelson said the two sides were particularly determined to ensure negotiations on services are substantial and lead to “strong future offers.”

While developed countries want developing countries to open up their markets to financial services, poor countries want rich nations to allow the free temporary movement of their workers employed in services such as information technology.

Nath and Mandeloson added, “We also remain firmly committed to taking forward issues relating to geographical indications and biodiversity.”

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