India Calling: WTO Chief to visit next week

India Calling: WTO Chief to visit next week
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First Published: Mon, Aug 04 2008. 08 39 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Aug 04 2008. 08 39 PM IST
New Delhi: The WTO talks may have broken down but it seems all is not lost. World Trade Organization, Director General, Pascal Lamy will be in India next week. He’ll be holding discussions with industry and the government. It will not even be a fortnight after the WTO mini-ministerial talks broke down in Geneva over the special safeguard mechanism.
Commerce Secretary, G.K.Pillai told reporters that the WTO chief will be here for discussions with government and industry. He said, “there are discussions going on among number of countries and the visit of DG, WTO is a part of ongoing discussions, to try and see whether we can work out someway by which talks could mover forward. One issue that was not agreed upon was the sectoral issue. And I presume this is what he would discuss.” US submitted a proposal to the WTO for eliminating tariffs on industrial and consumer goods by 2015. Under this agreement it had proposed a zero-for-zero or zero-for-close to zero tariffs for specific sectors, including automobiles, textiles and chemicals. India is strongly opposed to completely throwing open these sectors arguing billions of dollars of investment have been made in these areas and breaking the tariff wall would destroy the infant industries. He also said that the Doha deadlock will not affect other trade agreements India is working on.
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First Published: Mon, Aug 04 2008. 08 39 PM IST