Agriculture to dominate Doha round : Chavan

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New Delhi, Sept 14 (UNI) Agriculture will be the main characteristic of the Doha Round Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Prithviraj Chavan said.

''India will not sacrifice its food security and livelihood of its farmers. It will support multilateral negotiations and we expect the developed countries to make necessary concessions on agricultural subsidy and market access,'' he said.

Safeguard mechanisms are being worked out to buffet any shocks in agricultural trade, he said while addressing a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) session on 'The Doha Round: Can Negotiations be completed by 2007'.

Mr Chavan said India is keen that the Doha Round of world trade talks concludes successfully offering a free, fair and level-playing field to both the developing and developed countries.

''On our part, we are unilaterally opening up our market and our tariffs have been liberalised to ASEAN levels. However, we cannot let our farmers to be at the mercy of Western corporates,'' Mr Chavan said.

The Minister pointed out that the government is investing heavily on social security schemes enabling the farmers and workers to withstand global competition.

He urged the industry to participate in strengthening country's educational institutes, as the services sector growth was knowledge and technology-driven.

On country's position as a lead negotiator for developing nations he said, ''India's impressive economic growth has given it a credibility in the eyes of the West and was in a position of acting as a bridge between the developed and developing countries.'' UNI

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