Monday, January 02, 2006

Failure at WTO

Nitin at Acorn covers Bangladesh’s miserable performance at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Doha round last week.

While its government has put a brave face in the face of this setback, Bangladesh’s Centre for Policy Dialogue, an independent think-tank, has cited the government’s lack of political and negotiation skills as contributing to the failure. And the ‘South Asian solidarity’ that it was counting on didn’t really materialise. While India supported full exemption for LDCs, Pakistan and Sri Lanka argued against giving duty-free access exclusively to the LDCs.

Yes that said “Pakistan and Sri Lanka argued against giving duty-free access exclusively to the LDCs”. In plain language that means that Pakistan and Sri Lanka voted against Bangladesh to secure duty-free and quota-free access to US and European markets. India voted for Bangladesh.

I hope that message goes out loud and clear to contingents in Bangladesh who have developed a deep-seated hatred for all things Indian (whilst enjoying the benefits of cheap Indian health services and Hindi movies).

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