Buenos Aires Current Affairs

India to host meeting of WTO member countries on food security and other issues

India is planning to host meeting of World Trade Organisation (WTO) member countries in February 2018 to muster support for food security and other issues. It was announced by Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu while speaking at event organised by Apparel Export Promotion Council, AEPC in New Delhi.

Key Facts

The proposed meeting will be in backdrop of developed nations forming groupings to prepare ground for pushing new issues i.e. investment facilitation, preparing rules for e- commerce, promoting gender equality and reducing subsidy on fisheries with view to curbing illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

India has been keenly pushing agriculture issues at WTO. It has also been raising its voice against bringing new issues, especially those which are not directly linked to trade, on the negotiating table. The meeting will help to multi-lateral process.

Background

India had expressed its “deep disappointment” over the US’s refusal to agree on the public stockholding issue at the recently concluded World Trade Organisation (WTO) 11th Ministerial Conference (MC 11) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The MC 11 had concluded in deadlock without any substantial outcome as consensus eluded the 164-member body.

The deadlock came after US and other developed countries blocked permanent solution on government stockholding for food security purposes followed by toughened stand on new issues by India and other developing countries. However, member states did agree to secure deal on elimination of fisheries subsidies by next ministerial in December 2019.

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