GENEVA: More than a hundred ministers will gather here on Monday for a WTO conference where they are likely to renew pledges to freer world trade while avoiding hard bargaining to secure an overall deal under the Doha round. The Doha round of talks, launched in the Qatari capital in 2001, has foundered ever since on sharp disagreements between developed and developing nations on tariff and subsidy cuts. While previous ministerial meetings have been venues for governments to make detailed offers and counter-offers, the World Trade Organization’s 153 member-states have decided that Doha is not officially on the agenda here in Geneva. “The very fact that Doha is not on the agenda shows that a deal is not in sight,” said Romain Benicchio, a trade specialist with
Oxfam.