Mumbai: India, Brazil and other developing countries have closed ranks with the European Union to demand changes to the new WTO draft proposals, ahead of the 21 July ministerial meeting, saying the current text is against the interest of developing countries.
Commerce ministry officials are particularly opposed to a new ''anti-concentration'' clause which, they say, restricts the freedom of developing countries to choose the kind of industries they want to protect against liberalised imports.
Brazil also sought improvements to the latest negotiating drafts for the Doha round of trade negotiations in order to reach a deal.
"The WTO papers will only produce a deal if the rich countries improve their offer, showing leadership and reducing trade barriers," said Roberto Azevedo, Brazil's chief trade negotiator.
"India will not accept a deal that includes an anti-concentration clause," an official said. They, however, hoped that the trade ministers will be able to resolve the differences in Geneva.
Indian officials have also called for an increase in the level of protection proposed in the farm text for small and marginal farmers.
The new draft also cripples the ability of a developing nation to provide tariff protection to a set of industries within the overall limit under the market-opening agreement.
India and EU, however, said they would ensure talks on services, along with farm and industrial goods, are pushed through for a balanced market-opening deal under the Doha Round.
"A successful outcome of the Doha Round, balanced across the full range of market access issues in agriculture, industrial goods and services, is essential to secure growth in trade and boost the global economy," commerce minister Kamal Nath and EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson said in a joint statement.
"We are determined to ensure in particular that ministerial engagement on services is substantial and leads to strong future offers. We also remain firmly committed to taking forward issues relating to geographical indications and biodiversity," the statement said.
A successful Doha Round would further integrate developing countries into the world economy while reflecting the developmental objectives of the round, including sensitivities in agriculture, the statement said.
Fresh WTO proposals on agriculture and Non Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) were released on Thursday by chairs of the negotiating groups ahead of the meeting of key trade ministers.
US negotiators and WTO director-general Pascal Lamy are hoping to conclude negotiations with a breakthrough in agriculture and manufactured goods trade that would lead to a final deal by the end of the year.