Indian officials are currently mulling a request from the Australian Minister for Trade, Mark Vaile, that they support Australia in ongoing agricultural negotiations with the World Trade Organisation. In yesterday’s (19 October) meeting with India’s Commerce and Industry Minister, Murasoli Maran, Vaile explained that trade liberalisation, and the removal of export subsidies by developed countries, would benefit Indian farmers by providing increased opportunities to participate in the world market.

Maran is concerned, however, that a launch of blanketing multilateral trade negotiations will conceal the specific concerns of developing nations, and he pointed to the necessity of finalising an agreement between the quarantine agencies of Australia and India before the entry of Indian seafood and processed food exports could be facilitated.