India will host the second meeting of the BRICS Trade Ministers in New Delhi in March next year to review the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) after the decisions taken at Ministerial Conference (MC8).

The Commerce and Industry Minister, Anand Sharma, who is in Geneva to take part in the WTO inter-Ministerial talks held discussions with the BRICS group, according to an official statement issued here,. The

BRICS group is increasingly being recognised as pivotal in furthering progress in the stalled Doha Round. Mr. Sharma also felicitated Russia on the successful conclusion of their accession process to the WTO.

The Indian Commerce and Industry Minister emphasised the key role of the WTO in keeping protectionist forces at bay and said that international trade will play an even more critical role in stimulating economic growth and development during the current global slowdown. “The WTO must maintain its central role in monitoring the implementation of multilateral trade disciplines,” he added.

He observed that BRICS is uniquely positioned at the cusp of the developing and the developed world. “On the one hand, for historical reasons, we are home to a large population of the poor in the world, on the other hand, our people have demonstrated resilience in responding to the demands of the changing times,” he said.

BRICS would be both a rallying point and a bridge between developed and developing world, he remarked during informal meeting with BRICS group. BRICS comprises of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The statement said the BRICS Ministers expressed concern at the existing impasse in the DDA and committed to remaining fully engaged in negotiations with a view to concluding the single undertaking within the shortest possible time frame.

Mr. Sharma exhorted all members not to allow the development dimension of special treatment to least developing countries (LDCs) to be sidelined and pledge to work together to resist the moves to change the agenda and the discourse at the WTO.

Earlier, a meeting of the SAARC Ministers on the sidelines of the WTO inter-Ministerial conference was also hosted by India. Talking about the pending accessions of Afghanistan and Bhutan, he urged that a fast track mechanism be created for their early accession. He also welcomed the notification of the Duty Free Quota Free scheme by some developing countries and urged others, especially the developed countries, to implement and notify their DFQF schemes on all products of export interest of LDCs, without any further delay.

Keywords: BRICS summit

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