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Cancun draft to include note on differences
BS Economy Bureau in New Delhi | August 30, 2003 13:22 IST
The World Trade Organisation's draft ministerial text for Cancun will carry a covering note reflecting the differences of opinion between developed and developing countries along with details of the proposal submitted by the group of 20 developing countries, including India, China and Brazil.
"While the draft text will be submitted as it is, a covering note will be added to it, which will mention the differences between developed and developing countries and the G-20 paper," S N Menon, additional secretary in the commerce ministry, said at a seminar on WTO, organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Icrier.
He said countries like India with a huge population dependent on agriculture were not willing to accept the developed countries' position on tariff reduction without a reciprocal reduction in subsidies.
Menon said the joint framework on agriculture submitted by the US and European Union did not mention the Doha mandate on phasing out of export subsidies while making ambitious demands on tariff reductions.
He said the developing world's opposition to the US-EU proposal was obvious since more such countries were joining the coalition floated by India, China and Brazil.
On services, he said India was likely to submit its offer before the Cancun ministerial and added that New Delhi's response to other countries offers would depend on what they offered.
He said India was keen on offshore operations through electronic means and movement of natural persons.
He also asked industry to brace up for competition from global players in the wake of negotiations on industrial tariffs.
"We have to break away from the protective shield and become globally competitive," he said. Menon added that India's exports went up after 1991 as tariffs came down in countries world over.
Noting that Finance Minister Jaswant Singh had drawn up a roadmap for tariff reduction, he said reducing tariffs was also necessary to become a member of the Association of South-East Asian Nations.Menon said many of the industrial sectors in the country like auto components, gems and jewellery and leather were globally competitive and with the phaseout of the quota regime in December 2004, textiles should also emerge as a big opportunity.