The Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, arrives today in New Delhi, India, to participate in the Ministerial Meeting of the G-20.
The G-20 group was created two years ago by developing countries on the eve of the most recent World Trade Organization (WTO) Conference, in Cancun, Mexico, to defend their common agricultural interests against the wealthy nations.
After the flop in Cancun, the group, led by Brazil, has been holding meetings to strengthen their position for the next WTO Conference, at the end of this year, in Hong Kong.
In New Delhi, however, the discussion of joint strategies in the agricultural sphere will be only one of the items on the G-20’s agenda.
The meeting will also mark the adhesion of Uruguay, the only Mercosur country that did not belong to the group. Indeed, Uruguay had been defending positions contrary to the G-20 in the WTO.
Finally, parallel to the Ministerial Meeting, a Preferential Trade Agreement will be signed between India and the Mercosur.
Last August, Amorim, commenting on the World Trade Organization agreement putting an end to farm subsidies, said, “The G-20 has shown that it is strong and can get things done.”
The G-20 is led by Brazil and India and consists of developing nations. The minister called the WTO agreement on subsidies historical. He said it paves the way for EU and FTAA trade agreements that Brazil, along with its Mercosur partners, is negotiating.
Amorim said the agreement was possible because other issues, such as investments, government procurement and rules on competition, were left out of the talks.
“Those issues complicate the negotiations because they involve development policy. If the lesson of these talks is learned, future EU and FTAA negotiations will be easier,” said Amorim.
According to Amorim, even the European commissioner for trade, Pascal Lamy, recognized that the G-20 represents a new force in international trade negotiations.
“The G-20 is something that did not exist before. We have created a triangular relationship: the United States, the European Union, and Brazil, leading the emerging nations,” declared the minister.