India will not give ground in industrial field: Nath

GENEVA, July 23, 2008 (AFP) – India hinted on Wednesday that it is prepared to see WTO talks founder if rich countries do not take big strides towards developing countries on industrial issues. Indian Commerce Minister Kamal Nath warned that talks on a global trade deal at the World Trade Organization could founder if developed nations insisted on including measures that could compromise India’s industries.

Developed nations are pushing for a so-called anti-concentration clause, preventing countries from exempting certain sensitive sectors from tariff cuts, to be included in a final global trade deal.

But countries such as India which have significant interests concentrated in particular sectors, for example automotive components and textiles, are against the inclusion of such a clause.

“Giving them names of anti-concentration … must not result in erosion of industry. All developing countries must protect their infant industry, must protect their small industry, and if it is a deal breaker so be it,” he said.

He also poured cold water on Wednesday on attempts by the US and Europe to jolt stalled WTO talks forward, saying developed countries needed to propose “real” cuts.