Lamy to visit India next week to revive WTO talks
04 Aug 2008
Mumbai: Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), is visiting India next week to revive last month's failed trade talks in Geneva even as Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said that an accord on the stalled global trade talks was only a question of time.
''Lamy would be visiting India next week, around 12-13 August....He is coming here for discussions with the government and industry. He has already expressed his interest to talk to the industrial sector," commerce secretary G K Pillai told reporters on the sidelines of a conference on WTO.
The so-called Doha round of negotiations to reduce trade barriers collapsed over the issue of farm subsidies and industrial tariffs after the United States failed to agree on a proposal by India and other developing countries to help poor farmers deal with large-scale food imports.
The Geneva trade talks failed because of the differences over the special safeguard mechanism - a provision that would give developing countries like India a tool to guard against sudden surges in imports.
Commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath also last week said while India was still ready to come to the table to protect the gains achieved in the Doha Development Round although he discounted chances of any compromise on the livelihood security of poor farmers.
Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said a global trade accord was only a question of time and that a deal was essential to tackle terrorism and immigration problems.
''I don't believe the round has failed. We still have enormous possibilities to negotiate," Lula said over the radio.
Lula discussed the Doha round with US President George W. Bush by telephone on Saturday and this week plans to speak to Chinese president Hu Jintao and Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh.