WTO meet begins tomorrow, high stakes for India's food programme

Written By kom nampultig on Senin, 02 Desember 2013 | 07.21

PTI | Dec 2, 2013, 01.57PM IST
BALI: Ministers and trade diplomats from 159 countries will get into tough negotiations at the WTO ministerial meeting beginning here tomorrow with India seeking a deal on farm subsidies that will enable it to implement its $20 billion food security law without attracting any multilateral scrutiny.

As hard bargains continue for the next four days at the picturesque tourist resort of Indonesia, the ministers, including from the influential developed countries will try and reach agreements on providing windows to the developing nations for their food security programmes and a pact to free the global trade from the procedural hassles at the customs.

This agreement is being pushed by the US and other developed world as they seek to bolster their sagging economies through an unhindered international trade by way of a uniform and easy procedure at customs. The proposed deal is billed to be one that has a potential to boost the world trade by $1 trillion.

"Measures on 'Trade Facilitation' to streamline customs procedures and minimise unnecessary border delays, delivering jobs and opportunities in times of unemployment and slow growth...are estimated to be worth up to $1 trillion per year for the global economy," WTO director general Roberto Azevedo said in his communication to journalists covering the WTO ministerial meeting, the highest policy -making organ of the multilateral organization.

While talks in Geneva in the run-up to Bali meeting were deadlocked after tough posturing by India and the US, Azevedo said, he has not given up.

"I would like to assure these countries and indeed all WTO members that I have not given up on securing the Bali package and will be working with all delegations in Bali to get an agreement that secures a successful outcome for the meeting and a promising future for the multilateral trading system" he has said.


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