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Be ready for sacrifice on industry: EU

EU asks India to further open up its market for industrial goods in return for a deal on agriculture in the WTO.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2007 13:46 IST

The European Union has asked India to be prepared for further opening up its market for industrial goods in return for a deal on agriculture in the WTO negotiations on Doha Round.

"We accept that it is a development round but developing countries too will have to make a contribution for the successful completion of the round. They will have to take cuts in import duties on industrial products," Director General of Trade for European Commission, the executive arm of EU, David O'Sullivansaid.

When asked whether the US and the EU would expect a trade-off between agriculture and industry from India, he said, the give-and-take has to form the underlying principle of any deal between 150 WTO members. "In the end, everything is a trade-off in WTO," Sullivan added.

With the formal relaunch of negotiations in Geneva, the European Union and the US are within the striking distance of an agreement that will see US bringing down its trade distorting subsidies and EU its farm tariffs. The deal, if finalised, will also address the concerns of developing countries.

"We are close to an understanding with the US that might lead to subsidy and tariff cuts," Sullivan said.

This agreement would benefit developing countries as well give them increased access to markets of the developed world.

India and other developing countries, especially of G-33 grouping, are strongly resisting opening up their markets for agriculture products for the rich nations. Moreover, India, Brazil and others in G-20 are seeking substantial cuts in farm subsidies in the developed world.

The EU also wants India to commit market access in services like retail, financial services and telecom that are of interest to developing countries. On its part, the EU is sympathetic to the movement of professionals from developing countries under Mode 4 of the General Agreement on Trade in Services.

Last week, US Commerce Secretary Carlos M Gutierrez said India must play a leadership role for achieving a global trade-liberalising agreement among 150 WTO members under the Doha Round of negotiations.

"Simply stated: India's leadership is required to achieve an agreement. We are willing to make difficult choices, but we have a shared responsibility to make the round a success," he said.

"I am looking forward to working with India to ensure successful conclusion of the round," US Commerce Secretary said.