Developed countries are trying to go back on their commitment on the development
content of Doha Round of WTO talks and are putting new conditions on developing
countries, leading to a deadlock in negotiations, commerce and industry minister
Kamal Nath said.
current freeze we are witnessing is because the debate is being deflected from
an unconditional delivery of the development dimension to conditionalities that
expose what seem to be the real intention of some," Nath said in his address
at the Oxford University.
have engaged in this round in the belief that it is a development round. And we
aim to continue to proceed on that premise," he said.
said there are many contradictions within India. "Just because Indian industry
has matured to the extent of aggressively pursuing acquisitions abroad, and we
are witnessing an outward flow of FDI, does not mean that we have reached first
per cent of India''s people are dependent upon agriculture for their livelihoods.
"In spite of this, the Indian farmer is willing to compete with the American
farmer. But can he compete with the US treasury? Can we allow what has happened
to West Africa, to happen to our farmers?" the minister questioned.
cited the example of the unfair cotton trade with African countries.
populations of five nations in West Africa have been reduced to abject poverty
through unfair trade. And we are still negotiating about it," he said.
said: "Tariffs are legitimate economic instruments. Subsidies, on the other
hand, are not. How fair is it to ''trade off'' legitimate instruments against illegitimate
the window of special products and the special safeguard mechanism that was devised
in the July framework as a means of safeguarding livelihood security and rural
development needs is being sought to be tied up in knots so as to render it ineffective."
have so far refused to relent on the issue of industrial tariffs and high subsidies
- the most contentious issue at WTO talks since the Doha Development Round was
launched in 2001.
meeting of four key WTO players - India, the US, Brazil and the
European Union - held in New Delhi in mid-April also failed to reach an agreement.
are expected to meet again on May 17-18 in Paris.