Global trade talks to resume

New Delhi, August 13:

The 151 members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will meet in Geneva on September 3 to discuss the drafts on agriculture and industrial tariffs in a bid to revive the Doha talks, a top official of the organisation said today.

“The draft papers on agriculture and non-agricultural market access (NAMA) has been largely accepted by all the member countries,” said Harsha Vardhana Singh, deputy director general of the WTO. “But there are some modalities that needs to be worked out,” he said at the programme, ‘WTO and Doha Negotiations: Closing the Gaps and the Way Forward’, organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

Last month, WTO mediators circulated the draft texts on liberalising trade in agriculture and industrial goods, including the possible ranges of tariff and subsidy cuts, to help member countries reach a consensus in the negotiations. WTO members were requested to study the draft texts and come back to Geneva in September for a new round of intensive negotiations.

“Now is the time when we are in the last phase of a different kind of brinkmanship,” Singh said. “We, at WTO, our trying our best to conclude the agreements which are reachable and beneficial,” he said, adding that all comments and feedback received from the countries were taken into account.