Washington: The Doha round of trade negotiations is likely to be completed by year-end, commerce secretary Rahul Khullar has said.
Khullar, who is heading the Indian delegation that arrived in Washington on Thursday for the first leg of India-US Commercial dialogue, said the international community was closer to signing the deal than ever before.
“If you do not get Doha done this year, you are seriously jeopardizing one of the most credible institutions of multilateralism that exists today. You will do incalculable harm to multilateral institutions and to the cause of multilateralism,” Khullar told a group of Indian reporters.
“We stand committed to completing the Doha round, very simply because it is the development round, we have the most at stake,” he said.
The commerce secretary said, “In terms of actually closing the deal, we are significantly close to it than we had been before. I think for the large part, the agricultural part is essentially shorted out and goods commodity prices has made it much easier for subsidizers of agriculture as well as non-subsidizers of agriculture to sign up.”
Khullar said India would like to see the services market opened up.
“However, we have to be alive to the concerns that in many countries with (high) unemployment numbers... there are all sorts of fears,” he said.
He said there would be one week of intensive negotiations taking place as chief negotiators from the capitals across the world would be meeting here next week.
“The intention is that hopefully by Easter, we will have revised texts, which will narrow differences and become the basis of further negotiations,” he said.