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WTO talks likely to get push; Trade Ministers to meet in Davos

Source: PTI
December 28, 2010 16:29 IST
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Trade Ministers of key WTO member countries, including India and the US, will meet at Davos in Switzerland on January 29 to review and give a push to the Doha talks for a global trade opening deal.

The meeting, convened by Switzerland, will take place on the sidelines of the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in the last week of January 2011.

"The meeting will discuss the progress of Doha talks and see what we can achieve that G20 has mandated...the meeting will be informal in nature," a commerce ministry official said.

WTO Director General Pascal Lamy would also participate in the deliberations. Besides, EU is also likely to attend the meeting. Leaders of the world's most influential countries, including the US and the European Union, Brazil and India had pressed for concluding WTO talks for a multilateral agreement in 2011 at the last meeting of the G20 in Seoul in last November.

"Our strong commitment to direct our negotiators to engage in across-the-board negotiations to promptly bring the the Doha Development Round to a successful, comprehensive and balanced conclusion..."

"We recognise that 2011 is a critical window of opportunity, albeit narrow, and that engagement among our representatives must intensify and expand," the G20 leaders had said in a declaration.

Doha round of talks under the aegis of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) started in the Qatari capital in 2001 for achieving a global trade deal, but a breakthrough has not been reached upon yet.

Differences between rich and developing nations have been a stumbling block to reach an agreement. India and other developing nations have been defending their agricultural market to protect millions subsistence farmers from easy imports that may result from the multilateral agreement.

The US and the other developed countries are, however, seeking more market access in developing nations, including India. As per the WTO estimate, successful conclusion of Doha talks could boost the global trade by up to $ 200 billion in a year.


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