Attempt to break developing nations unity decried

New Delhi, Nov 14 | Updated: Nov 15 2005, 05:30am hrs
India has warned that divisive attempts by developed members to break the unity among developing countries by proposing to introduce a new classification of advanced developing countries could derail the Doha round.

Addressing a seminar on important issues for Indias negotiations in the WTO organised by Icrier, commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath said the onus remained on the developed countries to move and to meet the aspirations of developing countries.

He added that the ministerial conference in Hong Kong next month should be about development and not just ambitions.

India has been actively engaged in different fora such as the G-20 alliance in agriculture, the G-33 on special products and special safeguard measures, the core group on services, the five interested parties (Fips) and the G-4, and is also coordinating with all least developed countries (LDCs).

On agriculture, the minister said it still remains the most distorted sector. India is asking for a substantial cut in trade distorting domestic subsidies and eventual elimination of export subsidies. Tariffs remain the only instrument of protection and for safeguarding food and livelihood security and rural development.In the area of non-agriculture market access, Mr Nath said India wanted significant market access through reduced tariff peaks (unusually high tariffs in certain products) and tariff escalation (higher tariff for processed products) and reduction in non-tariff barriers in developed countries.

In services, he pointed out that there was not much improvement in areas of interest to India which include movement of natural persons (mode 4) and cross-border supply (mode1).