NEW DELHI (AFP) – Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ruled out any breakthrough in the stalled World Trade Organisation talks until the United States comes up with a “pragmatic offer” on farm subsidies.
“(The) Agriculture subsidy issue has held up the conclusion of negotiations,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told reporters on his way back from his two-nation European tour of Britain and Finland, the Press Trust of India news agency said.
“Unless the US comes forward with a more pragmatic offer and unless there is an agreement between European Union and the United States, I don’t think things can move forward.”
“We are not a problem. We want to be part of a solution,” he added.
Earlier this year, India objected to moves by the United States and the European Union to link the issue of farm subsidy cuts to increased market access for their farm and industrial products at the expense of poor countries.
The WTO talks hit a dead-end in June when Australia, Brazil, the EU, Japan, the United States and India could not agree on a formula for cutting farm subsidies.
The talks were launched in the Qatari capital Doha in 2001 with the aim of lowering barriers to trade and using commerce to give developing countries a boost.