Kamal Nath warns against derailment of global trade talks

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New Delhi, Feb 7 (UNI) Even while agreeing with WTO chief Pascal Lamy that Doha round of global trade negotiations could conclude by the year end, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath today, however, warned that the trade talks could also get derailed if chief beneficiaries of globalisation did not show 'sagacity and statesmanship'.

Expressing the hope that revised text on agriculture by the World Trade Organisation will reflect truly the actual progress made and the convergence achieved, the Minister, however, dubbed the draft modalities text on industrial goods issued by WTO as 'unbalanced', saying it ''reflected the views and ambition of only one set of developed countries, while almost completely disregarding the views of more than a hundred developing countries.'' The chief negotiator of the world trade body is expected to issue the revised text on agriculture any day. Revised text on industrial goods in WTO parlance is known as non-agricultural market access (Nama).

Stating that the Doha negotiations were poised 'at a critical stage at the moment', he said ''While they hold the promise for a conclusion by the end of this year, unless sagacity and statesmanship is on view from the countries, which have benefited chiefly from globalisation so far, the negotiations can also move sharply away from convergence.'' Claiming that global trade talks have entered their last lap, WTO chief Pascal Lamy recently said tariff negotiations on agriculture and industrial goods, however, remain sticking points in Doha negotiations and must be solved by March for there to be a deal by the year's end.

A study by U S-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Doha agreement results for India has, however, projected only modest gains for the country, saying its overall real income will increase by 1.2 billion dollars.

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