WTO Mini-ministerial: CII Warns Govt, Industry Of Possible Traps

New Delhi, October 28: | Updated: Oct 29 2002, 05:30am hrs
Confederation of Indian Industrys (CII) fact finding mission to Geneva has cautioned the government not to fall prey to the developed world at the hurriedly convened World Trade Organisations (WTO) mini ministerial of 25 member-countries in Sydney next month.

It has also warned the Indian industry of dire consequence if it does not take active interest in the multilateral negotiation process.

Australia has convened meeting of 25 member-countries, mostly comprising developed world, with the exception of a few developing counties like India, China and Brazil, ignoring some of the vital pending issues concerning the developing nations. India must press the developed nations to stick to the deadlines before discussing on new issues, CII senior advisor (Policy) TK Bhaumik told FE. He had been to Geneva for six days on a fact finding mission with an objective to brief the domestic industry on the current scenario and prepare it for future course of action.

Criticising the Indian industry for ignoring the multilateral trade process, which will adversely affect the industry in the long-run, Mr Bhaumik said, In Geneva, trade and industry representatives from various countries are seen lobbying for their countries, except for the India Inc.

CII is planning to involve the industry in the multilateral negotiation process in a big way. We will soon take trade and industry delegation to Geneva and Brussels to begin with, he added.

Commenting on the Sydney mini-ministerial, an official of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) said, it is true that developed countries are playing their own game. But inclusion of India must be seen in the positive light. It signifies Indias increasing importance in the negotiation processes.

He, however, said that India must press for implementation issues. The implementation issues cover areas including agriculture, sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures (SPS) & technical barrier to trade (TBT) issues, textile, Trips, anti-dumping and subsidies, rules of origin, balance of payment (BoP), custom valuation and safeguards and Trims.

Citing example of extending deadline of special and differential treatments from July 2002 to December this year, Mr Bhaumik said, Even now, it is unlikely that the developed world is serious about deadlines set earlier to implement various issues.

Quoting views of most of the developing nations present in Geneva for networking and lobbying, Mr Bhaumik said. India had a special position amongst the developing nations for its bold and firm initiatives in the Doha ministerial.

India may leverage its position for better negotiation at Cancun. During his visit to Geneva, he had met representatives of the US, European Union, Brazil, Jamaica, Kenya and Bangladesh.