De-briefing of the Hong Kong
New Delhi, India, December 21, 2005
The second meeting
of PARFORE was held in New Delhi in the wake of the 6th WTO Hong
Kong Ministerial Conference. A general opinion of the
participants was that Hong Kong WTO Ministerial was a success,
as a second failure after the Cancun fiasco would have been
disastrous for the multilateral trading system, and affected the
developing world adversely.
?India through its
liberalisation is moving forward. Our average tariffs came down
to 20 percent. However, it is feared that this autonomous
liberalisation will weaken our negotiating position in the WTO?,
observed Yashwant Sinha.
Speaking at the
Forum, Dr P C Alexander expressed fears that DFQF to LDCs was
another cause for concern.
?The success of Hong
Kong Ministerial provides an opportunity to make the final jump
towards the successful conclusion of the Doha Round?, said
Sharad Joshi. ?Our civil servants are better prepared, but we
need to do our homework very carefully, particularly in tariff
negotiations. They have to be very vigilant because modalities
are to be negotiated in the coming months. The devil is in the
details?, observed Joshi.
Many members felt
that the Forum should also discuss international environment
agreements, of which there is scarce understanding among
Parliamentarians and policy makers. Former Environment Minister,
Prof. Saifuddin Soz seconded the proposal. ?In future, Kyoto
Protocol will become another Uruguay Round, and we will be
caught unaware?, said Suresh Prabhu.
M V Rajasekharan,
expressed concern on the plight of tea and coffee sectors being
hit by global competition. Other members who participated in the
meeting included Suresh Prabhu, Manoj Bhattacharya, Sharad
Anantrao Joshi, Prof. Saifuddin Soz and E M Sudarshana