The ‘successful’ conclusion of the Ministerial Meeting on re-energising the Doha Round of WTO talks has put India in a commanding position as it has assumed the leadership of not only getting the talks moving but also becoming the voice of the developing nations, poor countries and various regional blocks.

The two-day Ministerial engagement witnessed “informal talks” between India and various regional blocks on how to cater to the interests of the poor and developing countries and ensure that their issues and concerns are addressed without any compromise.

“India is showing leadership. India stands firm. The entire developing world is looking towards India and we will take care of their interests during the negotiations in Geneva,” Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma remarked at the end of the meet. While the trade ministers from 35 nations were engaged in making their point of view known behind closed doors, Indian officials and particularly Mr. Sharma engaged the African-Caribbean Pacific Group, the Least Development Countries (LDCs), and the African Group and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in their individual capacity to work out a common platform for representation in the talks when they are scheduled to formally resume at Geneva on September 14.

“India took the initiative to put together a ‘rainbow coalition’ and made inclusiveness as the focal point.

Its attempts to re-energise the Doha Round have made substantial progress. We did not go in to technicalities but have various reaffirmations from different groups.

India has emerged as the focal point in this whole affair where the issues of food security and livelihood are of prime importance to us and the other developed and poor nations,” Mr. Sharma said at the end of the talks.

“All the participating ministers of the informal meeting were unanimously appreciative of India’s effort to revive the flagging negotiations by bringing together such a widely representative group of WTO groups, representing practically all shades of opinion and interests at the WTO in an effort to bring about a broad-based consensus on the road ahead for the Doha Development Round,” Mr. Sharma said.

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