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Jaitley fights for the weak

New Delhi, May 20: Commerce minister Arun Jaitley said today that the developing countries should not be coerced or feel compelled to take any decision at the WTO talks unless they are fully convinced that it is in their interest to do so.

Addressing the concluding session of an international conference on trade investment and development organised jointly with Unctad, Jaitley questioned the very need for multilateral rules to promote foreign investment when autonomous liberalisation had been progressing well.

The WTO “should not foreclose for developing countries such development options that the developed countries themselves had utilised at earlier stages of their development,” he added. The two-day conference was attended by representatives of 16 developing nations from Asia, Africa and Latin America to discuss WTO related trade and investment issues in the run up to the forthcoming Cancun conference.

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