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'Chances of restarting stalled WTO talks limited'

Talks broke down because of US not moving on domestic support, Gopal K Pillai said.

india Updated: Aug 25, 2006 11:13 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

India has said that chances of getting the stalled WTO talks restarted were "limited" unless the US changed its stance.

Commerce Minister Kamal Nath held a series of bilateral talks with his counterparts from Japan, Australia and New Zealand on the sidelines of the ASEAN-India FTA consultations that ended on Thursday evening.

Kamal Nath met Toshiro Nikai, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, Phil Goff, Trade Minister of New Zealand and Mark Valle, Deputy Prime Minister and Trade Minister of Australia.

"India explained its position on the WTO to his counterparts from these three countries. Our position is that the talks broke down because of the US not moving on domestic support," Gopal K Pillai, Special Secretary in the Commerce and Industry ministry, who accompanied the minister, said.

Pillai led the Indian delegation at the Senior Officials Meeting preceding the ASEANeconomic ministers meeting.

"If the US does not move, the chances of getting the talks restarted are limited," Pillai said, adding that all the ministers felt that anything would start only after Congressional talks.

He said the ministers also discussed Japan's proposal of a Pan Asian grouping ofASEANplus six, including India, Australia and New Zealand.

Kamal Nath welcomed the proposal and said it would be a good idea to study the report on the feasibility ofASEAN plus six.

First Published: Aug 25, 2006 11:13 IST