WTO Doha Round & South Asia: Linking Civil Society with Trade Negotiations
South Asia Forum for International Trade (SAFIT-II)

WTO Doha Round & South Asia: Linking Civil Society with Trade Negotiations

June-July              WTO Doha Round & South Asia: Linking Civil Society with Trade Negotiations                  1/2006


India may Scale Down Offer on Services
India may scale down its offer on opening up the services sector at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in case developed countries do not improve offers in other areas.

Concerted Regional Efforts in Trade Stressed
Given the present context of continued divergence on different negotiating issues among the developed and developing countries, it is high time for South Asian countries including Nepal to make concerted efforts in multilateral trade negotiations.

Trade Liberalisation: A Mixed Blessing for South Asia
Free trade in South Asia has brought widely expanded new opportunities to sell services across frontiers, but also has often undermined food production and left the sub-region behind in high-tech manufacturing, a new report released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says.

Dhaka Asks WTO to Help Prepare List of ‘Exportable’ Products
Bangladesh has asked the WTO to help prepare a list of products, which will fall under the three percent exclusion list and will not enjoy duty-free and quota-free (DFQF) market access under the Hong Kong offer.

India Sticks to Stated Position in Trade Talks
India has refused to budge from its stated position at the trade talks and asserted that rich nations would have to move first on reducing farm subsidies to break the deadlock at the WTO here.

India to Review Non-tariff Trade Barriers with Bangladesh
A working group of Indian and Bangladeshi trade officials, set up to review non-tariff barriers (NTBs) between the two nations after the recent visit by Bangladesh Prime Minister Begum Khalida Zia.

Pakistan… WTO Countries to Meet Again on Farm Pact
WTO Member countries would be meeting again by end of the current month in a bid to thrash out a pact on farm and manufacturing trade-core areas of the Doha Development Round, said Pakistan’s Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar Khan.

Doha Round

WTO Talks in ‘Crisis’ As High-Level Meeting Fails; Lamy To Try To Facilitate Consensus
Trade ministers from key WTO Member countries have failed once again to strike a framework Doha Round deal on cutting farm subsidies as well as tariffs on both industrial and agricultural products. The high-level talks ended on July 01, 2006, a day earlier than anticipated after it became clear that they were yielding little movement.

WTO Talks Collapse – Good News for the Developing World
Assessments of the outcome of the Doha Round, from a variety of institutions, including the World Bank (WB) and the European Union’s (EU’s) own Sustainability Impact Assessment, have already predicted that the Round would have adverse impacts on the poorest countries, particularly countries in Africa.

US Responsible for Collapse of WTO Talks: India
India on July 04, 2006, blamed the United States (US) for the face-off at the collapsed WTO mini-ministerial in Geneva and said Washington now held the key for forward movement in trade talks by agreeing to climb down on the contentious farm subsidies.

WTO may Lower Global Barriers for Professionals
Indian professionals looking for work opportunities in the US or other developed countries may find it easier to meet the qualification requirements there if a proposal made by a WTO committee gets through.

WB President Urges G8 +5 Leaders to Reach Trade Deal
The WB President Paul Wolfowitz sent a letter to the G8 +5 leaders (Brazil, China, India, Mexico, South Africa) urging them to reach an agreement in the Doha Round trade talks when they meet in St. Petersburg, on July 17, 2006.

WTO Deal this year won’t Deliver Development
Any deal done in 2006 to conclude the Doha Round of world trade talks will fail to deliver development to poor countries, warned Oxfam, an International Agency.

Trade: US Corporate Interests Threaten Rural Poor and the Environment
A furious row erupted ahead of WTO General Council meeting in the month of May, between the US administration and developing countries over the future of millions of small farmers and the rural poor in the developing world.

Doha Round’s Success Centres on US Compromise
The ultimate success of the struggling, five-year-old Doha Round talks at the WTO hinges on Washington’s willingness to compromise, said a senior Indian trade negotiator.

Europe, US must Break WTO Deadlock: China
“Members such as the US and those in Europe must have the political aspiration and determine their negotiating methods as soon as possible to push towards the conclusion of substantial talks by the end of July”, said Chong Quan, the commerce ministry’s spokesman.

WTO Services Deal said Stymied by Farm, Goods Row
Delegates said they were unlikely to come up with better proposals for opening up their national services markets until the negotiations on agriculture and industrial goods showed signs of advance.

Around the world

Developing Countries Propose TRIPs Amendment Requiring Disclosure in Patent Applications
Several developing countries led by India on May 31, 2006, formally proposed text for an amendment to WTO intellectual property rights (IPRs) that would make it mandatory for patent applicants to disclose the use of any biological resources or associated traditional knowledge in their inventions.

Lamy Welcomes WTO Agreement on Regional Trade Agreements
The WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, on July 10, 2006, welcomed the Negotiating Group on Rules’ formal approval of a new WTO transparency mechanism for all regional trade agreements (RTAs).

Keeping the G8’s Promises to the Poor
The G8 leaders took on the challenge of extreme poverty in Africa, Asia and elsewhere in the developing world. They agreed to write off un-payable loans owed by highly indebted but low-income nations and promised an additional US$50bn in annual development aid by 2010, including a doubling of assistance to Africa. Perhaps, most importantly, they pledged support for a pro-poor conclusion of global trade talks, with commitments to cut their own trade-distorting farm subsidies and to lift barriers to imports from the least developed countries.

US, Russia Fail to Agree on WTO Membership
The US and Russia could not agree on Russia’s admission to the WTO, said leaders in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Vietnam to Enter New Multilateral WTO Talks
Vietnam in May wrapped up its negotiations with the US, the last of 28 partners which required WTO bilateral talks, paving the way for the Southeast Asian nations to join the global trading club, hopefully in late 2006, bringing to a close 11 years of bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations.

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Acknowledgement for country flag pictures: http://www.worldworx.tv/