The problem is geo-political: Pascal Lamy

Daily News Analysis, January 31, 2013
Trade ministers from 157 countries to meet for full-fledged ministerial meeting in Bali

Director-General of the World Trade Organization Pascal Lamy has said that economic issues in world trade negotiations can be resolved by resolving geopolitical problems between the member nations. WTO will try to bring these geopolitical conflicts on the table to break the deadlock in the Doha round of negotiations.

Talking about the role of emerging economies in the negotiations, Lamy said, the emerging countries should accept that as they grow, they will have to take up commitments in WTO. At the same time, Lamy said that the rich nations should understand their responsibility in taking negotiations forward.

Emphasizing on the need for adopting a new approach to resolve trade barriers in world economies, Lamy said that the present deadlock can be dealt with by being innovative in finding solutions to the problems. Lamy was speaking at a conference organized by CUTS International.

Replying to criticism that only rich nations set the agenda at WTO negotiations, Lamy said while it was true that rich countries have decided the agenda, it was not without the consent of emerging nations like India.

As far as mode-4 negotiations are concerned, Lamy did not consider it to be a problem. “I do not think developed nations have had any problem in the free movement of professionals from the developing nations,” said Lamy in a reply to question raised by DNA.

The movement of natural persons from the ‘service providing’ country to the ‘service consumer’ country is a part of mode-4 negotiations under the General Agreement on Trade in Services treaty at WTO.

Doha round of talks, under the aegis of the WTO, started in 2001 for achieving a global trade deal.

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