Poor nations to push for end to agricultural sops at Cancun
India, Brazil and 18 other developing nations will push for a cut in barriers to their agricultural products.business Updated: Sep 06, 2003 15:17 IST
Brazil, India, China and 17 other developing countries will join in an effort to reduce barriers to their agricultural products at next week's World Trade Organization meeting, Brazil's foreign minister said.
"We were able to unite all 20 countries around one single proposal, which gives more legitimacy to our concerns," Amorim said at a news conference on Friday. "We are optimistic this proposal can be approved."
The 20 developing countries, which represent about 60 per cent of the world's farmers, have long complained of farm subsidies in the United States, the European Union and Japan.
They also want a further opening of rich nations' markets to their competitive agricultural products and a reduction of non-tariff barriers, such as sanitary restrictions.
The group of 20 developing countries plan to discuss their common strategy at a preliminary meeting in Cancun, one day before trade ministers from the WTO's 146 member countries convene in the Mexican resort for five days from September 10 on, Amorim said.
Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said that developing nations will succeed in their push for an end to agricultural subsidies only as a united political force.
"Then, they (rich countries) will perceive that we aren't as dependent anymore, and therefore, they will take the initiative to start making business with us," Silva said at a speech during a trade fair in southern Brazil.
The WTO's inter-ministerial conference in Cancun marks the halfway point of the current round of trade talks initiated in Doha in 2001.
First Published: Sep 06, 2003 12:55 IST