KAMAL NATH SAYS NO TO PROVIDING ACCESS TO INDIAN MARKET FOR SUBSIDISED
AGRI PRODUCTS OF THE WEST
ADDRESSES CRUCIAL G-33 MEET IN JAKARTA
Date : 21 Mar 2007
Location : New Delhi
Addressing the crucial ministerial meeting of the G-33 in
Jakarta, Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, has
categorically stated that there can be no access to the Indian market for
subsidised agricultural products from the west. “We are willing to
constructively engage. But, we cannot negotiate the livelihood of our farmers.
It is for the developed countries to come forward with credible and meaningful
offers to cut subsidies and open market access. Asking us for flexibility
is fine, but asking us for access to Indian market to subsidised agricultural
products is just not acceptable”, he said at the G-33 Ministerial
Meeting which was inaugurated by the President of Indonesia last night. He
also recalled the President of Indonesia’s remark while inaugurating the meeting
that: “It is our right and our responsibility to protect our farmers from
falling victims to an unjust trade regime”.
Shri Kamal Nath advised the G-33 to be careful: the
mandate and Hong Kong Declaration gave the G-33 Special Products (SPs) and
Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) as crucial instruments of development. “There
can be no departure form the mandate”, he said. Reminding all present that this
was a Development Round and it must deliver on development, he reiterated that
developed countries’ domestic and export subsidies were “poison” and had
severely distorted trade and hurt the developing countries. “This has to
change. This is the important goal of this Round”, he added.
The Ministerial Meeting of G-33 – a grouping of WTO member
countries with defensive interests in agriculture – was also attended by
representatives of the Africa Group, the ACP (Africa, Caribbean-Pacific), and
the small and vulnerable economies (SVEs), besides Mr. Peter Mandelson, Trade
Commissioner of the European Union (EU), Mr. Celso Amorim, Foreign Minister of
Brazil and Mr. Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Shri Kamal Nath thanked Indonesia for organising this crucial meeting at a
crucial juncture, while observing that the gathering of so many developing
countries diverse interests sent out a strong signal of unity. “We are speaking
with one voice”, he said.