India hopes revised NAMA text may put WTO talks on track

India hopes revised NAMA text may put WTO talks on track

New Delhi: Despite a strong reservation on the latest WTO proposals on industrial goods, India is sending its negotiating team to Geneva, where the Doha Round of multilateral trade talks on agriculture is going to resume from 3 September.

“We expect some progress if WTO Chief Pascal Lamy makes some changes in the NAMA text as the present text is considered ‘fundamentally flawed and biased´ by over 100 members," an official associated with the WTO talks said.

Insisting on a revision of NAMA (Non Agricultural Market Access) draft texts of 17 July, the official indicated that there is “a possibility of a ministerial meeting taking place in mid-October", given the hectic parleys between the key negotiating players.

Currently, senior officials are in Geneva, the headquarters of the WTO, to discuss issues covering Special Products and Special Safeguard Mechanism. Over the weekend, other officials will go there to start negotiations on agriculture, sources said.

With the deadline for completion of negotiations already missed on several occasions, WTO members led by the US, EU, India and Brazil are making efforts to put the talks on track.

The WTO on 17 July circulated separate drafts on agriculture and NAMA prepared by the respective chairs - Crawford Falconer and Don Stephenson.

The sources further said talks on agriculture and NAMA need to be sorted before discussions on services could start.