At WTO talks, India to oppose bid at dilution

At Nairobi meet, New Delhi will resist efforts to create divisions among developing nations

At the coming Nairobi ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), India is likely to oppose efforts by rich countries to dilute the ‘development’ dimension of the Doha Round negotiations, which are aimed at reaching an agreement to liberalise global trade.

New Delhi is also expected to resist attempts by the developed world to create divisions among the developing countries (including the least developed countries), official and trade sources privy to the development told The Hindu. They said attempts were being made by some developed countries to categorise nations such as India (now ‘developing’) as ‘emerging economies’ by making “unsubstantiated” allegations that such ‘emerging economies’ were cornering the benefits meant for developing countries.

Meet on Dec. 15

The WTO meeting will be held at the Kenyan capital during December 15-18.

The WTO does not define ‘developing’ or ‘developed’ countries. Members can apply the principle of ‘self-election’ and themselves decide if they are to be labelled as ‘developing’ countries.

Other members can question any member about its decision to label itself as ‘developing’ with an aim to take advantage of provisions available to developing countries. However, the WTO recognises the least developed countries as designated by the United Nations.

Significantly, there are attempts by the rich countries to “redefine developmental aspects” of the Doha Development Agenda negotiations at the Nairobi meeting by modifying the existing agenda and including, what they call, “more relevant” issues currently challenging global trade, the sources said.

They said the recent Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement — spearheaded by the U.S. and including 11 other pacific countries — has emboldened the West to attempt to link WTO trade rules to topics not covered under the WTO norms — but included in the TPP — as part of the final Nairobi declaration.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 12:17:37 PM |

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