INDIA TO HOST G-20 MEET IN DELHI ON MARCH 18: KAMAL NATH
Date : 31 Jan 2005
Location : New Delhi
Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, has said that India will host the meeting of the G-20 (a group of WTO member countries on agriculture) in New Delhi on 18th March, 2005 following a consensus to this effect among members at the G-20 meeting held in Davos on Saturday, 29th January, 2005. It has also been agreed that back to back with this, there will be a meeting of the G-33 (a group of WTO member countries who are pushing for special products, special safeguard mechanism and market access) in New Delhi on 19th March, 2005, Shri Kamal Nath said. The Minister suggested that besides focussing on agriculture, the G-20 discussions could also cover other areas of interest such as NAMA and services. Several G-20 countries like Pakistan, Chile, South Africa and others strongly supported the proposal.
The Minister participated in the informal meeting (mini-ministerial) of Trade Ministers from 26 member countries of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) including Europe, North America and the G-20 developing countries in Davos on 29th January, 2005. The Trade Ministers agreed on the need for taking urgent action for a successful conclusion of the negotiations on modalities for agriculture and non-agricultural market access (NAMA) by the next Ministerial Conference of the WTO scheduled in Hong Kong in December 2005. They also stressed that there should be overall balance in the different areas of negotiations such as agriculture, NAMA, services, rules and trade facilitation, so as to ensure equitable results for all, particularly developing countries.
Shri Kamal Nath sought greater market access for services and indicated that India would submit its revised offers by May 2005. During the discussions, he questioned the concept of advanced developing countries mooted by some members and said that introducing new concepts such as these which were not there in the Framework Agreement would delay the Hong Kong decision process. Shri Kamal Nath also made the point that the process of selection of the new Director General of WTO should not be allowed to impede the progress of negotiations.
The Trade Ministers set out a roadmap for talks from now till the Hong Kong Ministerial which would include frequent meetings at the Ministerial level with a view to bridging differences on issues like agriculture, NAMA and services. The Ministers agreed to meet again in another mini-ministerial in Kenya from 3rd to 5th March, 2005.