No change in India's negotiating position in Agriculture and NAMA

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Geneva, Dec 3 (ANI): Indian Commerce and Trade Minister Anand Sharma emphasized here on Thursday that there was no change in India's negotiating position in Agriculture and NAMA.

Addressing the media here on the side lines of the Seventh Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Sharma said : "The Conference had provided Members with an opportunity to collectively discuss the world economic scenario, challenges faced by the multilateral trading system and to review the working of the WTO."

"While the Conference was not intended as a negotiating forum, it had provided a useful opportunity for different groups and caucuses to assess the direction of the negotiations. India and its coalition partners were steadfast and united in their commitment to uphold the development dimension, the centrality of the multilateral process and the need to safeguard livelihood concerns, particularly of the poor, subsistence farmers in their countries," Sharma said.

Earlier, addressing the Working Session of the conference Sharma said that the first priority should be to conclude the Doha Round as quickly as possible. Banking the progress that has been achieved in reducing tariffs, cutting distorting subsidies, opening markets and removing non-trade barriers would go a long way to increasing world trade and welfare, he stressed the importance of inclusive global development to shore up demand.

He also emphasized the importance of the WTO initiatives for aid for trade and trade financing and underlined the need to rebalance factor movements and flows of capital and investment and for liberalisation across other factor markets including greater mobility of labour.

Appreciating the WTO's role in monitoring protectionist trends, Sharma observed, "For the WTO to contribute to recovery growth and development, it must be made a more effective institution."

Sharma also addressed a Ministerial Session of the Negotiating Committee of the GSTP, which adopted the Draft Ministerial Decision on Modalities for the Third Round of Global System of Trade Preferences negotiations.

In his address at the Negotiating Committee, Sharma said: "India attaches a great deal of importance to the GSTP process for optimizing South-South synergies and expanding trade among developing countries. GSTP has contributed to an expansion of trade and has also fostered special and differential treatment to the exports of the Least Developed Countries."

"India participated actively and exchanged tariff concessions with 14 countries in the First GSTP Round in 1989. India believes that timely implementation of the agreement would assist developing countries in coping with the debilitating effects of the global economic crisis," he added. (ANI)

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