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India not to reopen agreed issues with Doha talks revival: Sharma news
21 October 2010

Following certain developments that analysts say indicate that the long-stalled Doha talks to free up world trade may be revived, commerce and indusstries minister Anand Sharma said India would not reopen what had been already been agreed, and any deal would need to help developing countries by making farm trade fairer.

Sharma's comments are seen as a rejection of the US calls for a shake-up of what is on the table so far.

Sharma was speaking after an assessment visit to the negotiations in Geneva, where ambassadors at the World Trade Organization have been interacting in small groups, over the recent weeks, to seek new areas of agreement in the deadlocked talks.

"We are very happy that there has been some progress, where in addition to processes, the substance is being discussed," Sharma told a news conference. He added that a shared interest was increasingly apparent among various states to bring the talks to a conclusion to give the world economy a boost. He added the expectation now was, that leaders of the G20 would provide a clear declaration of political intent at their Seoul summit next month regarding the need to reach a deal.

The talks were launched in late 2001 to help free up global commerce and help poor countries prosper through trade. However, these have been deadlocked for over two years, largely over differences between the US and big emerging economies like India, China and Brazil over the extent to which they need to open up.

According to Sharma, the past nine years of talks had achieved a balance between agriculture and industrial goods which runs counter to calls from Washington for rich developing countries to do more to open up their markets for industrial goods in return for cuts in trade-distorting farm subsidies that the US is expected to make.

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India not to reopen agreed issues with Doha talks revival: Sharma