Washington: Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma has conveyed to US secretary of state Hillary Clinton that finding a “fair” global trade deal under the WTO is possible, raising hopes of a breakthrough in the Doha Round of multilateral talks.
During his meeting with Clinton here on Wednesday, Sharma said, “While a perfect solution may be elusive, it should be possible to find a fair solution acceptable to all parties.”
However, Sharma reiterated India’s stand that the development dimension, “central to the Doha round”, has missed several goalposts for want of consensus among 153 WTO members.
Sharma also met US trade representative (USTR) Ron Kirk and discussed with him ways to resolve the trade issues with a focus on “resolving them to the extent possible”.
He invited Kirk at the G20 trade ministers meeting scheduled later in New Delhi.
An invitation to the USTR at the meeting of G-20 grouping of the developing countries may be considered as a major initiative by India to bridge differences between the developed and developing countries on agricultural issues in the multilateral negotiations.
Besides the WTO negotiations, Sharma discussed both with Clinton and Kirk bilateral issues. Clinton said the Obama administration was keen on a comprehensive and intensive bilateral relationship.