Lauding the global Trade Ministers for breaking the logjam over the Doha Round of talks, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Friday that a delay in resuming talks would have encouraged voices of protectionism.

Interacting with the Trade Ministers of member states of the World Trade Organization who are in the capital to attend a two-day informal ministerial meeting, Dr. Singh said that if the Doha process was allowed to remain inconclusive, it would hurt all economies, especially vulnerable ones that are hit by the financial crisis.

Complimenting the Trade Ministers on having reached a consensus for resuming the Doha talks within 10 days in Geneva, he said, “This will uplift the animal spirit of economic agents all over the world.”

They agreed that the chief negotiators and senior officials will meet in Geneva for a week, beginning September 14, to restart the negotiation process.

Talks collapsed in Geneva in July 2008 after India, among others, opposed agriculture subsidies offered by rich nations to their farmers on the ground that it distorted trade by making produce of developing countries costly.

Among those who met Dr. Singh at his residence were United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy and Brazil’s External Affairs Minister Celso Luiz Nunes Amorim.

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