India is set to host a two-day mini-ministerial meeting of over 40 trade ministers starting on Thursday with a renewed effort to make an attempt for revive the stalled negotiations of a rule-based multi-lateral trade regime under the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
It would be the first time since July 2008 that ministers would be meeting in a renewed effort to make an attempt for concluding the Doha trade agreement deadlocked over how much protection developed countries should offer their farmers, even as developing countries like India worry over liberal trade hurting its poor farmers.
India and other developing countries insisted that there should be enough scope to protect subsistence farmers and small industries from being submerged by a flood of cheap imports from the US and the EU.
The meeting will be attended by all major groupings like the G-20 led by Brazil, African Group led by Egypt, the US and the European Union.
Australia’s Trade Minister Simon Crean said at a seminar organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) that this week’s meeting would provide political momentum to the Doha talks.
“We want to strengthen them (political momentum),” he said, adding that he was hopeful of the 2010 deadline for completion of the Doha Round talks. “It is a realistic deadline,” Crean said.
New Zealand’s Trade Minister Tim Groser also expressed confidence that there would be some progress. Trade talks that started in Doha in 2001 have been in a logjam for the past eight years.