labels: world trade organisation, trade
WTO talks likely to resume in January, says commerce secretarynews
02 December 2006

Mumbai: The Doha Round of WTO talks, suspended since July last, is expected to resume in January next year, with a possible global trade deal by March 2007, commerce secretary G K Pillai said.

"There are indications that a mini-ministerial could be held by end of January for reviving the WTO process but the sixty-day wait is too long. We need to push the talks fast as time is running out," he said, adding, "There is a possibility of the deal by March (next year)."

India was prepared to play an active role in negotiations, he said. Informal consultations have started but there was no urgency, he added. "Once talks restart you would not find India on back foot. We are willing to give to ensure that the country gets a good deal in negotiations," he said,

He said the US should cede ground on agriculture to get benefits in industrial goods and services. If the US had agreed to cut trade-distorting subsidies in farm products, its economy would have gained $36 billion.

"The only area India gains is agriculture while it will have to give in other sectors," Pillai said. GK Pillai is also India''s chief negotiator at the WTO.


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WTO talks likely to resume in January, says commerce secretary