Taking a common stand
after assessing the progress of negotiations in the Doha Round of the World
Trade Organisation (WTO) at this critical juncture, Shri Kamal Nath, Minister
of Commerce & Industry and Mr. Bo Xilai, Chinese Commerce Minister have agreed
that the major issue holding back and impeding the progress in Round is the lack
of movement by the developed countries in terms of early removal of distortions
caused by huge subsidies and significant market access barriers in developed
countries. “Unless the outcome of the negotiations upholds the proposals of
developing countries resulting in real and effective reduction of trade
distorting domestic support coupled with meaningful disciplines, substantial
improvement in market access by developed countries and eliminations of all form
of export subsidies the aspirations of the developing countries, as built in the
mandate, will not be fulfilled”, they categorically said in the
India-China Joint Ministerial Statement which was issued in Beijing today.
Mr. Bo Xilai and Shri
Kamal Nath met in Beijing on 16th April 2007 to compare notes and exchange
views in order to review the progress of negotiations on the Doha Development
Agenda (DDA) of the WTO and to safeguard the common interests of developing
country Members in the future course of negotiations. Mr. Kamal Nath briefed
Minister Bo Xilai about the discussions in the G-4/G-6 meetings in Delhi on
April 12, 2007.
They recalled the
commitment of the two countries expressed in the Joint Declaration issued
during the state visit of the President of the People’s Republic of China in
November 2006 to strengthen the cooperation of the two countries in the WTO
and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the developing countries.
Reaffirming their support for an open, fair, equitable, transparent and
rule-based multilateral trading system and their determination to coordinate
with other members of the WTO, especially the developing countries, in order to
ensure placing the development dimension at the heart of this Round, the two
Ministers expressed their sincere hope for achieving an expeditious
conclusion of the Doha Development Round based on full realization of the
development goals as mandated in the Doha Declaration, the Framework Agreement
of July 2004 and the Hong Kong Declaration.
The two Ministers
identified the other core development concerns of the developing countries that
are vital to delivering the development imperatives in these negotiations and
reiterated that special products (SPs) and the special safeguard mechanism (SSM)
play a vital role in addressing the food security, rural development and
livelihood concerns of developing countries and the outcome of Doha negotiations
for these flexibilities can be sustainable only if it enables the developing
countries to meet their development objectives. They rejected any
renegotiation of the principles and elements embodied in the Doha mandate and
any proposals on these crucial development instruments which could have the
effect of undermining the ability of developing countries to meet their food
security, livelihood security and rural development needs.
They urged the
developed members, in particular the major trading countries, to realize that
they bear a special and specific responsibility for the outcome of the Round.
They must show their readiness to implement measures that remove trade
distortions and significantly open their markets. Their current positions do
not provide an adequate basis for leading the agriculture negotiations to a
successful conclusion. They must,
therefore, significantly improve their proposals especially in the two crucial
areas of domestic support and agriculture market access as well as be prepared
to deliver on the development dimension of the DDA.
The two Ministers
agreed to remain in close touch and continue the coordination between the
two countries for the future WTO negotiations in order to ensure that the
development interests of developing countries are secured in accordance with the
mandate of the Doha Development Round.
Later, in a separate
meeting with the Chinese Agriculture Minister, Shri Kamal Nath raised issues of
trade interest to India in the agricultural sector such as export of fruits &
vegetables, bovine & dairy products etc. The Chinese Minister assured to
expedite issue of sanitary and phyto-sanitary clearances that was hindering
exports of these items to the Chinese market. China, in turn, raised the
issue of export duty on iron ore supplied by India.