Interests of LDC be Accorded Priority & Efforts to be made to Fast Track Negotiations

The Commerce and Industry Minister Shri Anand Sharma, visited Paris from 24-26 May to address the OECD ministerial meeting. During his visit he also participated in an infiormal meeting of trade ministers convened by Australia to take stock of progress of negotiations in WTO. He expressed satisfaction with the meeting , which was convened in a complex backdrop where negotiations had come to a near standstill with sharp differences between developed and developing world. Mr Sharma said that the meeting saw a unanimous resolve emerging among the ministers that a package of deliverables which had at its heart the interests of Least developed countries be accorded priority and efforts made to fast track negotiations in those areas for conclusion by end December. LDCs have a key interest in Duty free quota free market access as well as the issue of phasing out of cotton subsidies.

Earlier yesterday, he held substantive bilateral meeting with French Finance minister Christine Lagarde to explore opportunities of trade and investment cooperation between India and France. Shri Sharma identified joint technology development with a shared IPR regime as a key area of priority specially in high end technologies. He also mentioned energy, infrastructure, fashion, skill development and design as major priorities. They reaffirmed committment of reaching bilateral trade of Euro 12 billion by 2012.

During his visit Shri Sharma also met EU trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht to take stock of progress of negotiations on India EU BTIA and expressed optimism for a conclusion of negotiations in 2011. He also held bilateral meetings with Argentinan trade minister Hector Timmerman and Australian trade minister Craig Emerson, apart from meeting DG WTO Pascal Lamy.

Shri Sharma also addressed leading business chambers of France seeking greater participation for foreign investment in India. In his discussion with French higher education minister, he expressed his strong support for the IIT Rajasthan project being supported by the French government.

Tag: Ministry of Commerce

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