UNCTAD has asked India to fast track its trade talks with other developing countries to strengthen mutual trade ties by improving market access to each other's goods without giving in to the rich nations at WTO negotiations.
Parallel to the multi-lateral Doha round of WTO negotiations, UNCTAD had launched the 'global system of trade preference' (GSTP) negotiations for developing countries to enable them to increase trade among themselves.
The third round of GSTP was launched at Sao Paolo in Brazil in 2004 and is now expected to conclude by the end of this year.
"For India, this can be an ideal complement to enhance market access and openness and predictability of southern markets that it can obtain...without having to make concessions to developed country trading partners or facing competition from them in southern markets," Lakshmi Puri, UNCTAD's director incharge of 'trade in goods, services and commodities' said at a seminar organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)
Puri said India had high stakes in expanding South-South trade as the GSTP would provide India an opportunity to counter the rich countries, which have entered into many markets of the developing nations through regional trade agreements of which New Delhi was not a part.
The share of developing countries in global trade has tripled to $3.7 trillion representing 36 per cent of world trade since 1995, with India, China, Brazil and South Africa emerging as leading members of the developing South.