WTO Chief Lamy to meet Indian PM today

PR-inside, August 12, 2008

WTO Director General Pascal Lamy will meet PM Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, he is here to get overall India’s views on the options before the International trade body to bring the beleaguered Doha Round of trade talks to logical conclusions.

Pascal Lamy’s two-day visit to New Delhi beginning on Tuesday will give him an opportunity for discussions with Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath, as well as representatives of the industry, sources said.

‘Few would contest the benefits that globalization and trade have brought in terms of greater prosperity for hundreds of millions, as well as greater stability among nations. But many individuals in different societies across the world have shared little or not all in the benefits. The challenges facing governments in managing globalization are formidable, and success in spreading prosperity more widely requires a strong common purpose’ says WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy

The WTO Chief’s visit is likely to be followed by one to the US where he would meet trade officials and try to bring them on board for maintaining the momentum to conclude the Doha trade talks that was launched in 2001.

His visit comes days after the WTO mini-ministerial meeting in Geneva collapsed on the issue of safeguard for farmers from the developing countries against import surges.

The disagreement in the Geneva meeting was mainly between the US on the one side and India and China on the other and India projecting the interest of its agrarian interest.

India view

India said, besides China, over 100 developing and least developed countries were backing the cause of poor farmers.

Commerce and Industries Minister Kamal Nath expressed dissatisfaction over the collapse of the talks.”I feel disappointed that this has to be the end result. We have been running the miles for the last three years”It is unfortunate that in a development round we could not move because of the issue of livelihood security. G 33 and the developing countries are concerned about the issues which affect the poor and subsistence farmers,” he told reporters before going to the Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) meeting.”My confidence in the institution of WTO remains intact. All work that has been put in will remain intact and we will take this up and move forward,” he said.The blame game started on expected lines. US blamed India and China for creating hurdles in the ongoing WTO talks in Geneva and said Doha trade talks have been thrown into the “gravest jeopardy” by these two countries which are not willing to open their markets for more imports.

China view

China media reports that trade officials said in Geneva yesterday that a high-level summit to salvage a global trade pact collapsed, after the United States, China and India failed to agree on farm import rules.Trade officials from two developed and one emerging economy said that a meeting of seven commercial powers broke up without agreement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) yesterday.

The officials said a US dispute with China and India over farm import safeguards had effectively ended any hope of a breakthrough.

When in India, Lamy would be participating in a two-day international conference on ‘Global Partnership for Development’ being jointly organised here by think-tank CUTS International and industry body FICCI

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