Mar 6, 1990


GENEVA, MARCH 5 (BY CHAKRAVARTHI RAGHAVAN) -- Senior Trade Policy officials from a group of Third World countries are due to meet in India on March 19-20 to take stock of the Uruguay Round negotiations and the situation of the Third World in these negotiations.

The informal meeting has been convened by India and will be attended by representatives from 18 others from Asia, Africa and Latin America and Caribbean.

Apart from India, the countries who will participate are: Brazil, China, Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Singapore, Tanzania, Yugoslavia and Zimbabwe.

The countries reflect a broad cross-section of the political and trade interests of the South in the Uruguay Round.

This is the first time that such an inter-regional group of countries of the South are meeting among themselves on the Uruguay Round negotiations.

Since the launching of the Round at Punta del Este in September 1986, and before, there have been some subregional and regional meetings of Third World countries, as also meetings of Third World countries with Industrial countries or of special interest groupings like the Cairns Group, but not of a broad cross section of Third World countries as the one in New Delhi.

The meeting comes at a time of growing frustration among Third World negotiation about the state of play in the negotiations, reflected in the joint statement issued by the informal group of these countries in GATT last week.

In the statement, the group had complained of growing imbalances in the negotiating process and warning that unless corrective actions were taken now and a balanced of results emerged by April and July (when the official level meetings of the Trade Negotiations Committee are scheduled), the Uruguay Round would be in jeopardy.