London: Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath has held extensive discussions here on WTO-related matters with Pascal Lamy, Director General of the trade body.
Nath also met Douglas Alexander, UK Secretary of State for International Development and discussed similar issues.
Prior to the meeting with the WTO chief yesterday (16 October), Nath had said: “I am hoping for a breakthrough and I am hoping that both the European Union and the USA will be able to prevail upon each other.”
To a question on pinning the responsibility, the commerce minister had said: “It lies historically in the way global trade has been structured. That needs to be corrected in terms of both industrial goods and agriculture.”
Asked whether there was going to be a deal, he said: “We do not agree to perpetuating the structural flaws in agriculture. If they want to call that a deal, well, I can’t comment on that.”
Developing countries led by India are insisting that rich nations, including the US cut farm subsidies which have led to global trade distortions against the purported goal of the WTO to lay the rules for a level-playing field.
On the other hand, America is pressing the developing countries to slash industrial duties.
During his four-day bilateral visit which concluded last night, Kamal Nath also held discussions with UK Minister for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform John Hutton.
He also called on Alistair Darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer and met with Lord Digby Jones, Minister for Trade and Investment.