Prospects of success at the crucial WTO mini-ministerial
look bleak with the rich countries unable to deliver
the promised fair trading rules five years after the
Doha Round of world trade negotiations.
developed rich countries had promised to make the global
trade system fairer for poor countries by changing rules
and help them reap the rewards of global commerce. Now
the negotiations at the Geneva mini-ministerial appear
to be reaching a dead-end.
the US refusing to agree for wider cuts in farm subsidies,
India, which represents the less developed countries,
on Friday threatened to walk out of a meeting convened
to thrash out thorny farm and non-farm tariff issues.
commerce minister Kamal Nath threatened to take the
Saturday flight home if the US refused to offer deeper
cuts on farm subsidies.
trade chief Peter Mandelson and officials from Brazil
and India had pressed the US to offer deeper cuts in
its farm subsidies. However, the US countered saying
that EU must move first, by slashing import duties on
positions wide apart, representatives from about 60
countries who are taking part in the mini-ministerial
meet are more divided now than when they started negotiations
WTO has repeatedly missed its targets for a deal and
its 149 members are under increasing pressure to complete
the round by December 2006 as per the deadline fixed
in Hong Kong last year.
grouping of WTO heavyweights - the EU, Australia, Brazil,
India, Japan and the United States (G6) - at the mini-ministerial
also make negotiations even more difficult.
chief Pascal Lamy had warned negotiators that after
missing deadlines for almost five years, trading nations
could no longer
afford to duck a deal.
talks, expected to last several days at the Geneva base
of WTO, were called in an effort to revive the organisation's
struggling Doha Round trade negotiations.