WTO members to push Doha talks

Davos: Trade ministers of key WTO member countries, including India, are meeting here on Saturday to discuss future of beleaguered Doha Round, amidst British Prime Minister David Cameron asking Europe to byepass multilateral negotiations and clinch bilateral free trade agreements.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma joined the World Economic Forum annual meet a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel wanted increased involvement of countries like India to show the roadmap for achieving a multi-lateral trade deal.

"There would be numerous hindrances that need to be addressed… We need to take along all the countries together, including Japan, India and many others outside Europe," she said.

Under pressure to increase British role to resolve the euro crisis, Cameron seemed rather impatient with the way Doha Round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations have dragged for over 10 years. Instead, he insisted on Europe striking bilateral free trade pacts.

"First, rather than trying to involve everyone at once, let`s get some bilateral deals done," he said.

Before the informal meeting tomorrow, ministers from India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) would try to forge a common approach on issues like protectionism threat looming large on emerging economies.

As campaigning in the US picks up for the Presidential elections, countries like India, China, Mexico and Brazil may face greater heat on outsourcing.

Director General of the World Trade Organisation Pascal Lamy, would also be present for the informal meet being hosted by the Swiss authorities.