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"Developing five" to meet before talks with G-8 leaders

To arrive at a common stand on global economy and sustainable development

Diplomatic Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The leaders of India, China, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico will meet ahead of their planned interaction with G-8 leaders in Gleneagles, Scotland, to arrive at a common position on global economy, sustainable development and climate change, Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said on Tuesday. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, representing India at the G-8 summit, leaves for London on Wednesday.

The idea behind the meeting of the "developing five" was to coordinate views on a range of issues which would be discussed with the G-8 leaders, Mr. Saran said. The message the developing countries would like to send out was that priority must be given to growth.

The developed world should avoid putting in place non-tariff barriers.

The leaders of the developing countries would also coordinate positions on making the Hong Kong meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) a success, while stressing that issues such as agricultural subsidies in the developed world would have to be addressed.

The energy requirements of the developing countries could also figure in their deliberations given that China and India were growing at the rate of seven to eight per cent annually.

The fundamental approach was that the developed countries needed more sources of energy.

Pointing out that the developed world was basically responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, Mr. Saran said India favoured the adoption of new, clean technologies.

On the related issue of technology transfer, he said this financial assistance to developing countries should not be from existing aid allocations.

Pointing to the fact that the five developing countries invited to Gleneagles had significant research capabilities, he said there ought to be some kind of partnership between the developing and developed countries.

The Prime Minister would have a bilateral meeting with his British counterpart Tony Blair. Other bilateral meetings were also possible on the sidelines of the G-8 deliberations.

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