Jul 12, 2008

WTO Ministerial To Be Postponed?

India seems poised to request this.

As a result of the two-day special session of Parliament being convened for a trust vote, India will request the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to reschedule a meeting of trade ministers that was to begin on July 21 at Geneva.

The mini-ministerial is to be attended by nearly 50 trade ministers from across the world and aims to finalise the Doha round of trade talks. However, with Parliament session to be held on July 21 and 22, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath will not be able to reach Geneva on time.

Officials told Business Standard that the government will make a request to WTO shortly. The WTO secretariat is open to Indian official negotiators representing Nath on the opening day of the meeting on July 21, as there is unlikely to be any major discussion that day.

However, on other days, Nath's presence is mandatory, as he will have to negotiate the last few contentious issues on India's behalf.

We hope the WTO tells India where to get off....