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World Trade

Volume 455: debated on Monday 15 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the effect of the outcome of the recent meeting of Trade Ministers of India and Mauritius on prospects for (a) a comprehensive economic co-operation partnership agreement, (b) the World Trade Organisation negotiations and (c) (i) Indian and (ii) Mauritian trade with the (A) UK and (B) EU. (114196)

The meeting between the Indian and Mauritian Trade Ministers took place on the 5 January and we have yet to make an assessment of the impact of a comprehensive economic and co-operation partnership. However, the bilateral trade between Mauritius and India is largely agricultural and textiles-based and therefore it is unlikely to impact upon the competitiveness of either the EU or the UK.

On the WTO negotiations, an ambitious, pro-development outcome to the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) remains UK’s top trade priority and we are encouraged that many WTO members, including India and Mauritius, are discussing ways to deliver real progress on the Doha trade round.

The UK Government will continue to work with the European Commission, other EU member states and other WTO members to ensure the momentum of the negotiations is maintained and the DDA concluded as soon as possible. We will also continue to make the case for the DDA, the contribution it can make to stimulating economic growth and alleviating poverty, and highlighting the risks of failure.