INDIA URGED TO EXPEDITE LDC PACKAGE
Date : 13 Mar 2007
Location : New Delhi
to move fast on the package for duty-free quota-free (DQFQ) access to the least
developed countries (LDCs) as it is an important element of the Doha mandate and
the Hong Kong Declaration, Mr. Dipak Patel, former Minister of Trade and
Industry of Zambia, who chaired the session on “ Special Measures for Less
Developed Countries” at the International Seminar on Saving Doha and Delivering
on Development, hosted by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of
India, and Mr. Pradeep Mehta, secretary general of CUTS International, one of
the co-sponsors of the Seminar, said while briefing newspersons here today. “The
intent needs to be translated into action, and delays will only skew the
southern solidarity in the WTO process”, Mr. Mehta said.
said that the process of negotiations must be more inclusive both in terms of
process and the content as far as the LDCs were concerned and lamented lack of
progress on duty-free, quota-free access as well as the Aid for Trade issues.
DQFQ concessions were sought from “advanced developing countries” at the Hong
Kong Ministerial Conference in December 2005 when these issues were debated. The
rich countries agreed to extend this concession on 97 % of tariff lines, though
that left a gap where products sensitive to rich economies such as textiles
could be exempted. This had come in for considerable criticism, and one of the
spin-offs was that big developing countries like India, China and Brazil too
should extend such preferential offers, they said.
already notified its DFQF scheme, while India and China have announced the
intention but are yet to notify it. Moreover,
India is also a signatory to GSTP (Global
System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries which was agreed at
UNCTAD X1 Conference at Sao Paolo in 2004.