More reports on: Trade

Commerce minister Anand Sharma to meet WTO chief in Davos

22 January 2014

Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma will meet the director-general of World Trade Organisation (WTO) Roberto Azevedo in Davos later this week to discuss the follow-up to the important deal at the Bali ministerial.

Sharma who left for Davos to attend the World Economic Forum annual meeting on Tuesday, will also meet the US trade representative Michael Froman to discuss the road-map for the ongoing global trade talks.

These meetings assume significance as the leaders are meeting for the first time after the important deal in Bali WTO Ministerial.

The WTO negotiations saw some progress at the Bali Ministerial last month after years of inaction.

''The minister is likely to discuss ways to reach an early solution to the problem of calculation of farm subsidies which, under the present formula, could result in penalties for the country once its Food Security Programme is fully implemented,'' reports quoting commerce ministry sources said.

Trade ministers from WTO member countries struck a deal in Bali last month where it was agreed that the farm subsidies issue will be sorted out over the next four years and no penalties would be imposed on developing countries in the interim period for breaching the given cap under specific conditions.

An agreement was also reached on trade facilitation or seamless movement of goods between borders under which countries, including India, took on commitments to improve border infrastructure and cut down transaction time.

Sharma is likely to apprise the WTO chief of the steps being taken by India to implement the trade facilitation pact.

Sharma and Azevedo will meet on Thursday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

The minister will also hold one-on-one meetings with his counterparts from Australia and the Netherlands as also the EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.

Sharma will meet key global CEOs from the defence, retail, oil and other sectors. He will meet, among others, Dev Sanyal, executive vice president and group chief of staff of BP Plc; Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo Plc; Frans Van Houten, president and CEO of Royal Phillips; Simon Henry, global chief f officer of Shell and Harish Manwani, global chief operating officer of Unilever Plc.

He will also attend sessions on 'The Manufacturing Context' where he will put forward the recent decisions in India to promote manufacturing, including the decisions taken in the Cabinet and Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Monday.

He will also participate in an investment roundtable and a session titled `Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders - The Reshaping of the World: Defining the imperatives for 2014.'

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