India support "early harvest" package for LCDs

Category: WTO Sub-category: World Trade Organisation
Document type: news

4-Jun-2011 | 10:57 hrs IST | Edited by: Tanusree Pal

India will support an "early harvest'' package at the World Trade Organization (WTO) which mainly target the least developed countries (LDCs) in December. This move will help India to dispel the notions that their hard stances on tariff elimination on industrial goods are preventing the poor countries from being benefiting from a concluded Doha round.

In a meeting of the WTO's trade negotiations committee, the body overseeing negotiations on all topics, member countries has agreed that a package for least-developed countries is the most urgent and feasible priority for a 1st step of Doha Round outcome at the December 2011 ministerial meeting. Another issues in terms of a "LDC plus" package will be discuss in the same ministerial meeting.

"India does not want to be seen as a game spoiler for LDCs as we have always supported their cause. We want to protect our interest without harming the interest of poor countries and feel that an early harvest package is a good idea,"

According to the WTO DG Pascal Lamy, all the issues will be split into 3 groups and approached at different speeds namely fast, medium and slow lanes. The fast lane will take up LDC-specific subjects, LDC-plus including additional issues that are near maturity and maintain a development focus in the "middle lane," Outstanding issues such as agriculture, services, and non-agricultural market access (NAMA) would be left on a "slow lane" for resolution.

The Doha round, commenced in November 2001, reached a stalemate with the US and the EU demanding to eliminate tariffs on a few industrial products like chemicals, electronics & electrical and industrial products by the big developing countries like India, China and Brazil. The main objective of Doha round is to lower trade barriers around the world which will help facilitate the increase of global trade. The Doha round talks about duty-free and quota free market access for LDC's products and additional measures to improve market access including elimination of export subsidies on cotton by the US to help revive markets for cotton growing African countries.

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The Doha Development Round
or Doha Development Agenda (DDA) is the current trade-negotiation round of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which commenced in November 2001. Its objective is to lower trade barriers around the world, which will help facilitate the increase of global trade.