NEW DELHI: As one of the fastest growing economies, India views global trade as win-win option and favours “logical conclusion” to the Doha round as also being open to the idea of joining the APEC, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.
Speaking at an event here, he said the final decision on India’s joining will be taken by the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) at Lima (Peru) in November.
“I won’t make a final comment on this till government takes a positive decision on this but all I can say is that its important way station and I hope we halt in the direction of that way station,” he said.
“I would see India being open to the idea and therefore between now and November, I think is the crucial period to negotiate the step that you have in mind,” he added.
With regard to the WTO’s Doha Development Round (DDR), Jaitley said India is for multilateralism and favours logical conclusion of the trade negotiations.
“Whether the DDR is over, should be abandoned or it should be continued… India has a strong position that it should be continued and be taken to logical conclusion,” he said.
Jaitley said India enters trade negotiations with an open mind and wants multilateral trade bodies like DDR, be taken to logical conclusion. However, he said that over the last decade the developed world has started losing interest in the DDR.
“At the same time, various other tie-ups which are taking place, depending on what our interest is, I think we are fairly open to them. And you can’t claim to be one of the fastest growing economies of the world and then not think of trade as a win-win option,” he said.
The Doha Round of negotiations launched in 2001 have remained stalled since July 2008 when the trade ministers’ meeting in Geneva collapsed due to differences between the rich and the developing nations mainly on the level of protection for farmers in developing countries.