Doha talks may top WTO meet

Written by Press Trust of India | Geneva | Updated: Dec 1 2009, 05:19am hrs
The Doha trade talks are likely to dominate the three-day WTO conference of 153 trade ministers beginning here on Monday, though hardcore negotiations will not form part of the official agenda.

This 7th ministerial conference will not be a negotiating session but the issues that will be taken up including the Doha Round and how best to advance it comprise all of the elements that are central to our mission, World Trade Organisation (WTO) director-general Pascal Lamy said in a letter to the global media.

The ministers of all WTO member nations, who will be meeting for the first time since the breakout of the global economic crisis in September 2008, will review recovery and also scrutinies working of the multilateral trade referee.

The Indian delegation is led by commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma, who is accompanied by senior officials of his ministry. Representatives of the Indian industry, including Ficci, are also here to assist the government in pushing for a deal for opening world trade.

Sharma, who had said early conclusion of the Doha negotiations were in the interest of the developing countries, would have a series of bilateral meetings with his counterpart from the rich and the emerging economies.

Among others, he will meet US trade representative Ron Kirk and EU trade commissioner Catherine Ashton.

The theme of ministerial is the WTO, the multilateral trading system and the current global economic environment.