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We are nearing completion of Doha Round - Shri Nath
18
Jan '08
India believes that the Doha Talks have not failed and 'we are inching forward to the completion of the round', said Mr Kamal Nath, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.

He was speaking in the plenary session- “The Doha Round: A Multidimensional View” at the Partnership Summit 2008 on Thursday, organised jointly by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Government of India, Government of Haryana and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

He said that India was one of the founding members of the WTO (World Trade Organisation) and pointed out that WTO is a 'contractual agreement among member nations' and not a 'treaty'.

The Uruguay Round in the early nineties saw 'only 10/12 countries deciding the course of negotiations'. That round dealt with 'easier issues' and the developing countries did not have the technical expertise, any civil societies to support themselves in trade talks.

Until late in 1995 when WTO was formed, the developing nations for the first time participated meaningfully in the global trade talks.

Many countries were 'gasping' with financial crises and then 'free trade became mantra'. But he questioned the wisdom of abrupt opening up of the economies of Africa and many other countries that had virtually no industry during that time.

India initiated 'economic reforms in a calibrated manner' and unilaterally reduced tariffs, thereby 'calibrating the integration with the global economy' and adopting globalisation.

He pointed out that, that India never faced economic crises and was able to insulate itself from the East Asian Crisis and other global economic shocks.

In 2001 the developed countries demanded the Doha Round to correct the structural flaws in international trade. But by then global economic scenario had changed and globalisation became the mantra, and at the heart of globalisation, it was technology that brought about the transformation.

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