Notwithstanding reports of tension along the Indo-China border, the two neighbouring countries need to move hand-in-hand at WTO to protect interest of over 100 developing nations in the Doha trade negotiations, sources said.
“China is a critical player and will hold the balance of power. India needs to align with them,” a highly placed official said after a week of serious negotiations which resumed at the WTO headquarters after a gap of 14 months.
While India, Brazil and South Africa have played a leadership role for developing countries in navigating the global trade negotiations, China has so far maintained a low profile despite its growing economic prowess.
“China has not taken any specific position…but the developing countries need to court Beijing for striking a good deal and ensuring a market access for them without opening the floodgates for the rich nations,” he said.
Amidst reports of Chinese incursions into the Indian territory, the government has asked media to exercise restraint and not play up the issue.
The Indian negotiating team in Geneva, led by Additional Secretary D K Mittal, had a couple of bilateral meetings with the Chinese counterparts to strengthen the alliance of the developing countries against the US and the EU, which are expected to increase pressure for market access in the emerging economies, a source said.
Doha talks in Geneva resumed following meeting of key ministers at New Delhi on September 3-4.