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India holding on to its WTO stance on agriculture, market access: Sharma news
03 December 2009

India will continue to stick to its negotiating position in both agriculture and non-agricultural market access (NAMA) at the world trade talks, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said today.

Cutting trade distorting subsidies, opening markets and removing non-trade barriers by the industralised countries would go a long way in increasing world trade and human welfare, he said.

Addressing the working session of the seventh ministerial conference of the WTO on `The WTO's Contribution to Recovery, Growth and Development', Sharma said the first priority should be to conclude the Doha Round as quickly as possible.

While negotiators can bank on the progress already achieved in reducing tariffs, he said, the importance of inclusive global development to shore up demand should not be ignored.

Referring to the collapse of trade finance from September 2008 onwards, Sharma emphasised the importance of the WTO initiatives `aid for trade' and `trade financing' and underlined the need to rebalance factor movements and flows of capital and investment. He called for liberalisation across other factor markets, including greater mobility of labour.

While the WTO has an important role in monitoring protectionist trends, the minister observed that for the WTO to contribute to recovery of growth and development, it must be made a more effective institution.

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India holding on to its WTO stance on agriculture, market access: Sharma