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'Stronger political will needed to complete Doha talks'

April 01, 2013 17:13 IST

DohaA strong political will is needed to complete Doha Development Agenda after the WTO Ministerial meet in Bali this December, Indonesian Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy Mari Elka Pangestu said on Monday.

"We need a stronger political will to guide Geneva negotiators to ensure deliverables at the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali. . . in order to generate momentum and move on to complete the Doha Development Agenda after the Bali meeting," Pangestu said at a conference organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

The Indonesian Minister's comments assume significance as she is also a candidate for the position of Director General, World Trade Organisation.

The Doha talks launched in 2001 have missed several deadlines because of divergent views of developed countries like the US and developing nations like India.

The vexed issues include high levels of farm subsidy in developed countries, demand for better market access for industrial products in the developing countries and the level of farmers' protection in poor and developing countries.

"We should complete Doha. We have to complete Doha and re-negotiate other issues," she said.

Pangestu also underlined the relevance of WTO in global trade and the need to safeguard and monitor trade rules.

Asked whether a multitude of Free Trade Agreements may lead to dilution of WTO, thus causing irreparable damage to the organisation and its credibility, Pangestu said: "As long as they are consistent and complementary to WTO, they do not need to undermine the WTO."

The 9th WTO Ministerial Conference will take place from December 3-6 in Bali, Indonesia.

The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body of the 158-member multi-lateral organisation which meets at least once every two years.

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