Anand Sharma reaffirms India's commitment to balanced outcome of Doha round

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Geneva, Oct 21 (ANI): Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has reaffirmed India's commitment to an ambitious and balanced outcome of the Doha round.

During his meeting with Pascal Lamy, Director General of the WTO, in Geneva yesterday, Shrama recalled that world leaders have also reaffirmed their commitment to an early conclusion of Doha round at the G-20 summits and added that the issue would come up again in the G-20 Seoul meeting next month.

"Sustaining trade and investment flows is critical for the future prosperity of developed and developing economies alike. Therefore, strengthening the multilateral trading system by concluding the Doha Round at the earliest is a vital imperative", Sharma emphasized.

Sharma pointed out that since March 2010 stock taking, while some progress has been achieved in small group meetings, the text based negotiations led by the chairs must resume at the earliest.

He said that while there are still a few gaps and large number of unresolved issues, the December 2008 texts of Agriculture and NAMA presented, a fine balance and any attempt to revisit settled issues would potentially unravel the round itself.

He said that 2011 presented a "Year of opportunity" for conclusion of the round and felt that through the G20 summit in Seoul, a strong articulation of political intent would lend the necessary momentum to negotiations.

He further stressed that Doha round negotiations hold the promise of raising standards of living worldwide, alleviating global poverty, removing inequities in the trade regime, and enhancing international stability especially in times of global financial and economic crisis.

Reiterating that this a development round, Sharma said: "The mandate of the Doha Round is non-negotiable and should be respected.

"The final outcome must correct the historical distortions and address structural flaws in the global trading regime, while responding to the legitimate concerns and aspirations of the poor in the developing world," he added. (ANI)

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