Trade Representative Susan Schwab says India will play
a crucial role if a new global free trade treaty is
negotiated by the end of 2007 as its views would determine
the stand of other developing countries.
from Brazil, India, the European Union, the United States,
Australia and Japan -- the so-called Group of Six (G6)
-- breathed fresh life into sluggish negotiations on
Thursday by setting a 2007-end deadline to conclude
a trade conference in New Delhi Schwab said, "India
is in a profoundly important position in these negotiations
-- one of a handful of countries that can make or break
the Doha round.Moreover, the nature of India''s engagement
will determine that of many other developing countries
in G20 and G33."
said India and the US have been holding bilateral talks
to find common ground and narrow down differences. India
and Brazil have donned the mantle of key representatives
of developing nations and hold considerable influence
on larger groupings.
its launch in 2001, the World Trade Organisation''s (WTO)
Doha round has been mired in disagreements over US farm
subsidy cuts, the EU''s trade tariffs and the developing
world''s market access for agricultural and industrial
goods and services.
ministers from the European Union, Brazil, India and
the United States are meeting again in mid-May in efforts
to find a breakthrough, to the negotiations that had
all but collapsed in July 2006.
ministers, who comprise the G-4 group, told WTO chief
Pascal Lamy in a letter, "We are conscious of our
responsibility to facilitate a consensus amongst the
wider WTO membership and we will work with a view to
contributing to the decision making process of negotiating
groups in Geneva in a timely manner."
Schwab stressed any breakthrough had to include more
market access on agriculture, industry and services.
"Nothing will give a bigger boost to development
than a strong market-opening outcome that generates
new trade flows in all three major areas of the negotiations
-- agriculture, manufactured goods and services."