Monday, November 29, 1999

Resume Doha Round for economic growth, says Anand Sharma

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Vinay Shukla Saint Petersburg, 18 June (PTI) Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma today called for early conclusion of Doha Round for a global trade deal under the aegis of World Trade Organisation. At the plenary session of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum presided by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Sharma said developed nations needed to reach out and remove the barriers at the time of crisis. "Protectionism is counter-productive (for global economy). The success of Doha Round will generate a greater degree of trust and ensure a minimal growth of USD 700 billion," Sharma said while seeking early conclusion of the talks. His comments come a day after a top US trade official blamed India, China and Brazil for blocking the Doha trade talks. US Deputy Trade Representative Demetrois Marantis had blamed emerging economies for resisting to engage in "sustained, meaningful negotiations". Sharma said while there was no impasse in Doha round, the progress was not encouraging but still there was a hope. He said there was a ''discernible turnaround'' in the world economy but it was not globally uniform. "The situation needs to be carefully watched," he said. Doha Round of talks, launched in the Qatari capital in 2001, are stuck in logjam mainly due to lack of consensus between rich and developing nations on opening markets for agricultural and non-agricultural goods. Sharma, who arrived here last evening would be meeting Russian Trade and Industry Minister Viktor Khristenko and Minister for Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina. He is on a three-day visit to Russia. Later, he would travel to Spain, the US, France and the UK, before returning home.

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