New Delhi, 1 September 2009 - EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton and EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel will travel to New Delhi from the 2nd to 5th of September to take part in an informal meeting of WTO ministers hosted by the Indian government. The meeting will seek to give a renewed push to the Doha round of world trade talks, building on decisions taken by G20 leaders in London earlier this year.
Speaking ahead of the visit to India, Commissioner Ashton said: "A fair and satisfactory outcome to the Doha trade negotiations is important if we are to overcome the economic crisis. I welcome the Indian government's initiative to host this meeting, which presents the first opportunity for a large group of ministers to meet since the summer of 2008, and look forward to working together with India and other key WTO Members to move ahead with the talks."
Commissioner Fischer Boel said: "I am very pleased that efforts are being made to get the Doha Round talks moving again. The EU will continue its proactive role in looking for a fair and balanced outcome."
The Commissioners will give statements at a plenary session of WTO Trade Ministers in the evening of the 3rd of September. On the 4th of September they will participate in a discussion on key issues that need to be concluded in order to drive forward the negotiations.
Commissioner Ashton will also hold a bilateral meeting on the 5th of September with her Indian counterpart Minister Anand Sharma to discuss bilateral trade relations between the European Union and India. Among other issues, Commissioner Ashton and Minister Sharma will review progress in bilateral negotiations for a comprehensive trade and investment agreement. Commissioner Fischer Boel will hold talks with her counterpart Sharad Pawar on 3rd September.