WTO should promote equity: Kamal Nath

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New Delhi, Aug 12 : Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath today said that the focus of World Trade Organization (WTO) talks should be to reduce poverty in the world and not just to increase the prosperity of the wealthy nations.

Addressing a Conference on 'Global Partnership for Development' here, Nath called upon the developed countries to cut huge subsidies on agriculture to provide a level playing field to the developing nations in the global market.

He said promoting equity must be the aim of the WTO.

Referring to Doha Round of talks, he said that it is pause and not the end of the road.

"The present Doha round of talks was different than the previous one's as many changes have taken place in the political and economic architecture of the world since then," he added.

The two-day conference will prepare broad parameters to enhance partnerships in the global trade.

Prominent experts from India and abroad will present their papers in the conference organised by FICCI.

The Doha round of talks to reduce trade barriers collapsed over the issue of farm subsidies and industrial tariffs after the US failed to agree on a proposal by India and other developing countries to help poor farmers deal with large-scale food imports.

The Geneva trade talks failed because of the differences over the special safeguard mechanism - a provision that would give developing countries like India a tool to guard against sudden surges in imports.

During the Geneva talks, it had been suggested that the safeguard mechanism in developing countries come into effect if imports in country surged by 40 per cent. However, India and the other developing countries wanted this trigger to become active in case of a 10 per cent volume surge.

ANI

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