Trade officials of 14-15 nations to meet in Geneva
[inline:1]Geneva--To give more teeth to the businesses around the world, 14-15 nations are meeting in Geneva to chalk out its plan before the WTO meeting.
Trade officials of over a dozen countries, including India, will meet in Geneva in a bid to speed up the process for reaching an agreement ahead of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong later this year.
Days after the ministerial-level meeting of the 'Quad' - the EU, US, India and Brazil in Paris, senior officials of 14-15 countries would discuss over the next three days the contentious issues that have threatened to stall WTO talks.
The Geneva meeting assumes significance, especially since the Paris meeting failed to arrive at a consensus on the critical area of farm subsidies even though it agreed to set up a sub-group on services to be chaired by India and US.
In the meeting, India would be represented by Additional Secretary in the Commerce Ministry and country's chief negotiator at the WTO, G K Pillai.
The official-level meeting would be followed by the meeting of the Five Interested Parties - the US, EU, India, Brazil and Australia, and the G-20 next month, officials said.
Trade ministers of the G-20 group of developing nations would meet during 10th and 12th October in Geneva in what would probably be the last meeting of the alliance before the Hong Kong conference in December.
The Doha round talks are stuck with developing countries demanding a firm commitment from the EU and US to cut billions of dollars of subsidies that the developed nations provide to their farmers.
Developed nations, on the other hand, want countries like India to open up their industrial and services market.