Time ripe to conclude WTO Doha Round talks

IANS, April 28, 2011
Some forward looking moves on industrial goods and other tariffs can help conclude Doha round of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks this year, a senior official of CUTS International said.

‘Time is ripe to conclude this deal this year by making some forward looking moves on industrial goods and other negotiating subjects,’ said Pradeep Mehta, secretary general of Consumer Unity and Consumer Society (CUTS) International.

He said global trading system would weaken if Doha round of the WTO talks fail.

‘The importance of the multilateral trading system lies in its three essentials which are non-discrimination, gradual trade liberalisation and commitments to adhere to multilaterally-agreed rules on the part of WTO members,’ said Mehta.

Referring to the new text of Doha negotiations, released by the WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy last week, Mehta said the new text has provided a ‘booster dose’ to the on going negotiations.

Doha round of negotiation was launched in 2001 at the WTO ministerial meeting held in Qatari capital.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said Tuesday India was committed to a successful conclusion of the ongoing multilateral trade talks.

However, Sharma warned developed countries that India would not accept any trade related deal negotiated outside the framework of the WTO.

Lamy released a new text on the Doha round negotiation in Geneva April 21.

‘For the first time since 2001 members will have the opportunity to consider the entire Doha package, including all market access areas as well as the entirety of the regulatory agenda,’ Lamy, who is also the chairman of the WTO trade negotiations committee, had said after releasing the document.

‘These documents will leave no-one in any doubt about the value of what is on the table. For the WTO to remain efficient, our disciplines need updating for trade today as well as for the next generation,’ Lamy added.

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