As is obvious from the above explanation that India has favoured multilateral trade reforms ever since the time of GATT (1947) to WTO (1995). Currently WTO discussions include a variety of issues as mentioned in the previous Units 5 and 6 of Block 2. To recapitulate, India's overall stand in WTO rounds of negotiation range from, IPRs, trade in services, agriculture, non-agricultural market access and dispute settlement mechanisms.
WTO was originated at Uruguay round in Marrakesh. Since then talks on the Doha Round are going on. The first meeting held at Seattle led to the emergence of many controversies between developed and developing countries. These controversies included agricultural subsidies, environment, and child labour. A significant development was emergence of G-20 nations including India, Brazil and China. These countries were considered critical in charting a positive and speedy path of convergence in the ongoing negotiations. To begin with, these countries, however, had played a negligible role in earlier negotiating rounds. The attention was exclusively on the interplay between the European and the American trade representatives, who were treated as the stars of the trade talks and other countries wereasidelined to anonymity. At Cancun, however, this dynamics finally changed. Brazil took a dramatic stand, planting the flag of the developing world on the MTN map and forcing the world to pay attention to its interests. As against the past years where the United States, the EU, Japan, and Canada had set the terms of the negotiations, the scenario changed and after Cancun (2003), however, the agenda was set by a new Group of five, which included the United States, the EU, Brazil, India, and Australia (as a representative of the Cairns Group of 17 agriculture-exporting countries).
Cancun thus represented a triumph for developing countries, which suddenly gained recognition and a political stake in the negotiations. Indeed, the G-20even managed to demand successfully and the EU and the United States were asked to come back with improved offers on agricultural subsidies and trade barriers. Before the WTO Ministerial meeting in Hong Kong (2005), there were reasons for pessimism about what shape negotiations will take. The most difficult issues included lowering agricultural protections. New groups and lobbies had already been formed on this issue among the developed nations. Washington and Brussels have lobbed for related offers and counter offers at each other without much progress. The EU was divided between France and its allies, which opposed making any serious concessions, and the United Kingdom and the Nordic countries, which favoured making concessions.
The success of Hong Kong was considered because of the scaling down of ambitions all around and a renewed commitment by all to refocus on the development aspect of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA). It is stated that developing country members, including India, have the most to gain from multilateral trade liberalisation under the WTO. A successful conclusion of the DDA will help countries secure more rapid economic growth and reduce inequality.