India seeks level playing field in global trading arena

Friday, 18 June 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: The rules of the international trading system must guarantee a level playing field for the developing countries and take into account their special needs, India has told the 11th session of Unctad in Brazil.

India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Hardeep S. Puri, read a statement Wednesday at the Unctad plenary in Sao Paulo that sought to specify New Delhi's stand on multilateral trading systems.

Developing countries needed greater flexibility to use development policies best suited to their national conditions, and the global trading system must accommodate this policy space imperative, the statement said.

In the statement titled "Assuring Development Gains from the International Trading System and Trade Negotiations", India called for genuine liberalisation by the major trading partners of developing countries.

This was particularly sought in the pro-development areas and sectors where developing countries enjoyed comparative advantages, such as agriculture textiles, and business process outsourcing.

Trade rules should give better access to developing countries in labour-intensive exports of goods and services, India said.

Other, more sophisticated market entry barriers, the statement said, should not replace trade barriers like tariffs that are currently being reduced.

This, India hoped would particularly apply to textiles, where the decades old quota system is being dismantled from January next year.

Source: IANS
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