WTO ministerial meeting on Doha Round begins

WTO ministerial meeting on Doha Round begins

WTO ministerial meeting on Doha Round begins

Delegates observe silence as a mark of respect for Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, who died in a chopper crash, at the start of the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in New Delhi on Thursday. AP

The two-day meeting of 35 trade ministers of the WTO-member countries began in New Delhi on Thursday with India underscoring the need to strengthen the multilateral regime to boost global trade.

Inaugurating the meeting being attended by the ministers from the US, European commission, Brazil, South Africa and China among others, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said concluding the Doha round of negotiations is vital for strengthening the world trade.

The meeting began amidst tight security with police manning all entry and exit points towards the venue to prevent disruption of the conference by protesting farmers.
Earlier, in the day WTO Director General Pascal Lamy had expressed hope that the Delhi meeting could be the "end game" leading to conclusion of the Doha trade talks.

"I hope Delhi (informal meeting) can be the beginning of the end game of the Doha Round," Lamy said in his interaction with industry leaders at FICCI function.

India is hosting the ministerial meeting aimed at finding solutions for the early conclusion of the Doha Round to further open global trade which was of the order of USD 32 trillion in 2008.

Meanwhile, the government has cancelled the cultural programme and official dinner organised in honour of the visiting ministers in wake of the death of Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh YSR Reddy in a chopper crash