New Delhi: Concerned over the “chilling effect” of trade barriers imposed by certain countries, WTO Director General Pascal Lamy on Thursday hoped the Delhi ministerial meeting would be the beginning of the “end game” leading to conclusion of the Doha Round for a global trade pact.
“I hope Delhi (informal meeting) can be the beginning of the end game of the Doha Round,” Lamy said in his interaction with industry body FICCI here, hours before the meeting of the trade ministers from 35 countries who have assembled in the capital to reach a common ground.
It is only through a trade-opening global pact that issues like distorting subsidies or generating market access can be addressed, the WTO chief emphasised.
“Whether it is about generating market access for goods and services or facilitating trade, the most efficient means to achieve these goals today remains in the multilateral Doha Development Round,” he said.
Countries have increased tariffs, imposed non-tariff barriers, besides initiating anti-dumping measures, he said, pointing out “most of these measures are allowed under the WTO rules ... but there is no denying the fact that they have had some trade chilling effect”.
Rather being a cause of the economic crisis, trade has been a casualty, Lamy said, adding “WTO economists have foreseen a decline this year of nearly 10% (global trade) in volume terms, it is the worst result since the end of the Second World War.”