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India Predicts Three-Year Doha Delay

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

23 December 2011


India's Commerce Secretary, Rahul Khullar has noted that Doha Development Round talks are unlikely to come to fruition in the next couple of years, as governments lack the political will to bring about long-lasting measures to liberalize world trade.

Addressing a meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Khullar noted that the global financial crisis is the primary factor for delayed negotiations, noting that until developing nations exit the recession, and overcome the turmoil they are facing domestically, policymakers are unlikely to take new steps towards trade agreements.

Khullar also noted that US elections are likely to stall the talks further, so that meaningful discussions are not likely to occur until 2013.

Discussing the earliest a Round could be concluded, Khullar said: "If by the end of 2013, nations have a deal, you will be pretty damn lucky. My guess is you are looking closer to 2014."

Nations began Doha negotiations - an ambitious global agreement to remove barriers to trade, including taxes - in 2001. Talks have been deadlocked on tariff reductions for developing nations, with advanced nations blamed for stalling on the provision of concessions.

Khullar pointed out that India has already offered a package of measures to Least Developed Countries but said there remained a few nations "just not willing to engage".

TAGS: tax | economics | free trade agreement (FTA) | India | law | tariffs | World Trade Organisation (WTO) | agreements | trade

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