More reports on: Trade

Cabinet approves India's stand at WTO Ministerial

04 January 2018

The union cabinet on Wednesday gave ex-post facto approval to the stand adopted by India at the ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) held in Argentina last month. "The mandate exercised and approach adopted at the conference was aimed at protecting India's interests, priorities and concerns," the government said in an official statement.

The 11th ministerial conference of the WTO in Buenos Aires from 10 to 13 December collapsed after the US reneged on its commitment to give a permanent solution to the food stockpiling issues of developing countries.

"India did not support the draft ministerial declaration as it excluded or failed to adequately cover important issues such as multilateralism, the Doha Development Agenda and special and differential treatment of developing countries," the government said.

In fisheries, India was able to push to 2019 the commitment to prohibit certain forms of subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, and eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

In ecommerce, India managed to convince other countries to continue with the old work programme that links a two-year continuation of the moratorium on ecommerce with the continuation of one on TRIPS and non-violation complaints.

Ministerial decisions on new issues like investment facilitation, MSMEs, gender and trade, which lacked a mandate or consensus, were not taken forward.

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