KAMAL NATH TO ATTEND WTO MINISTERIAL IN KENYA
Date : 01 Mar 2005
Location : New Delhi
Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of commerce & Industry, is leaving tonight for Kenya to participate in the meeting of the Trade Ministers of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) – mini-Ministerial – scheduled to be held in Mombasa on 2nd – 4th March, 2005. He will be leading the Indian delegation to the meeting which is expected to be attended by Trade Ministers of 30 leading WTO member countries.
Shri Kamal Nath had earlier participated in the mini-Ministerial meeting of 33 Trade Ministers in Davos, Switzerland, in January 2005, when it was decided by the Ministers to accelerate the process of negotiations through a series of meetings at the ministerial level so as to speed up finalisation of modalities for negotiations within the WTO Framework Agreement of July 2004 and resolve outstanding issues in the run-up to the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference scheduled to be held later this year. The Davos meeting had reiterated its commitment to the Doha Development Agenda and the July Framework. It emphasized the need for intense ministerial involvement and political directions to the negotiations throughout the year in order to ensure positive outcome of the Hong Kong Ministerial as also the Doha Round.
Modalities for negotiations in agriculture and non-agricultural market access (NAMA) are expected to be finalized by the Hong Kong Ministerial. It was also stressed that there should be a critical mass offer on Services as well as significant progress on rules and trade facilitation by then.
The Kenya meeting is of particular importance since it is the first in a proposed series of meetings leading up to Hong Kong, that would be exclusively devoted to WTO matters, unlike in Davos, where only such Ministers who attended the World Economic Forum, participated.
The Kenya meeting is also significant, because a fortnight later, India is hosting the G-20 countries for a Conference in New Delhi.
Others in the delegation accompanying the Minister to Kenya are Shri Gopal K. Pillai, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry; Shri U.S. Bhatia, Ambassador of India to the WTO; and Shri Anthony de Sa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry.