India to work for ‘rainbow coalition’ at WTO

India to work for ‘rainbow coalition’ at WTO

New Delhi: India on Tuesday said that it is working to a form a ‘rainbow coalition’ among 153 WTO member countries in an endeavour to get a break through for reaching a Doha trade deal.

“New Delhi will be hosting 75-100 trade ministers on 3-4 September with a purpose of sending a message to the world that we guys are in a serious business," commerce secretary Rahul Khullar said.

It will be for the first time since July 2008 that ministers would be meeting in a renewed effort, largely from India, to make an attempt for concluding the Doha trade agreement that may give a boost to the sagging global economy.

Since the Cancun Ministerial Meeting of 2003, the WTO members have generally been divided among different groupings. India, Brazil, South Africa and China have been leading the groupings of the developing countries for bargaining a good deal from the rich nations mainly the US and the EU.

Ever since commerce minister Anand Sharma has started his efforts for re-energising the trade talks, the UPA government has been criticised by the BJP and the Left parties that India was compromising the unity among the developing countries.

With the opening of the global trade through the Doha agreement, the world economy may get a booster dose of $300-700 billion a year, a study by Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics has said.

Earlier, WTO director general Pascal Lamy, who would also be present in the Delhi meeting, had estimated gains of $130 billion to the global economy.

“The truth of the matter is till you get a message from the ministers, the negotiating machinery will not get into further action," Khullar said, adding that the only way to get the round completed in 2009 is to get a strong political message.

The Doha negotiations, which were launched in the Qatari capital in 2001, were to complete by the end of 2004. Differences among the developed and developing countries stalled progress on talks.

Meanwhile, a predominant part of the global economy is passing through a recession and making things difficult for the developing economies as well.