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WTO trade talks resume in Geneva tomorrow

business Updated: Sep 13, 2009 12:24 IST

PTI
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Negotiators from WTO member countries will meet in Geneva on Monday to kickstart trade talks that broke down 14 months ago and will focus on specifics like farm and industrial products.

India's negotiating team, headed by Additional Secretary in the Commerce Minister DK Mittal, has already reached the WTO headquarters, where they would be assisted by the country's permanent mission there.

An informal ministerial held in New Delhi earlier this month helped break the ice on the talks.

For about two consecutive weeks, the officials would deliberate mainly on the issues of opening up global trade in agriculture and industrial products (Non-Agriculture Market Access).

"They will make efforts to resolve the issues of livelihood security of poor farmers and the flexibility for the developing countries in NAMA," an official said.

It was mainly on these two contentious issues that the July 2008 talks in Geneva collapsed when India insisted on seeking adequate level of protection for its farmers against import surges, while the US was not willing to give much.

The negotiations then remained in limbo and it was at India's initiative that about 30 trade ministers mete in New Delhi on September 3-4 and agreed for resumption of talks.