New Delhi: WTO Director General Pascal Lamy met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 12 August and is believed to have sought a clear indication whether India wants to move ahead in the troubled Doha negotiations or take a pause.
Lamy, who arrived within a fortnight of collapse of ministers’ meeting in Geneva, is understood to have sought Prime Minister’s views on whether India wants to “keep working or take time out”.
Negotiations for a global agreement on tariff cuts and reducing agricultural subsidies have dragged for seven years since the launch of the Doha Round in 2001.
Not to give up hope, the WTO chief is making renewed efforts to bridge differences mainly on the issue of the safeguard for agriculture in the developing countries between India and the US. The Geneva talks failed on the issue, known as Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) in WTO parlance.
After wrapping up his visit, which includes consultations with Commerce and Industry minister Kamal Nath, industry and the NGOs, Lamy would be visiting Washington next week.
“My simple message here in Delhi and next week in Washington is that (members should) look carefully at what is on the table and not on results, listen to all WTO members and efforts should be to conclude the talks,” Lamy said.