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Doha round failure will affect GCC states

Dubai, August 10, 2008

The Gulf states will be adversely affected if the Doha round fails, stated an analyst, in a report.

The Doha round has remained deadlocked over differences related to subsidies in the farm sector.

During talks in July, trade ministers from some 35 member countries couldnot resolve differences over outstanding issues.

While India and Brazil wanted the US and EU to curb subsidies granted to their farmers, the US and EU wanted developing countries to open up their economies and ease import duties.

Analysts feel the failure to resolve farm sector issues could complicate the food crisis.

Rising food prices account for about 30 per cent of inflationary pressures plaguing the Gulf economies, according to a Gulf News report.

Since GCC states do not have local farm businesses due to water scarcity and negligible farmlands, they are now buying farmlands abroad to produce output exclusively for their local markets.

It will be particularly painful to Saudi Arabia which joined the WTO after it agreed to open up a number of sectors to foreign competition. It was the last country to join the WTO. The country was hoping for unrestricted access to the 150-members of WTO.




Tags: WTO | Food crisis | GCC states | farm sector subsidies |

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