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इंडियन आवाज़     17 Apr 2024 01:14:27      انڈین آواز

WTO Ministerial Conference Makes Progress on Key Issues, Director-General Announces New Initiative

(Last Updated On: 26/02/2024)

AMN

The 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) commenced today in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Ambassador Athaliah Lesiba, Chairperson of the WTO General Council, delivered a report highlighting progress on implementing commitments from the previous conference, including strengthening trade reviews and advancing negotiations on fisheries subsidies and e-commerce.

Accession processes for Comoros and Timor-Leste are nearing completion, paving the way for their WTO entry. Discussions are ongoing regarding the MC13 Ministerial Declaration, with a draft document circulated for further consultations. Dedicated sessions are planned to finalize the declaration.

The Work Program on Electronic Commerce has seen discussions on various aspects, but a consensus on the draft ministerial decision remains elusive.

A global consortium of semiconductor industry groups has asked India to reconsider its plan to push for duties on cross-border digital e-commerce before the Conference, making M13 of paramount importance for India. Despite some challenges, a draft ministerial declaration aimed at strengthening regulatory cooperation to reduce technical barriers to trade is expected to be adopted.

Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala also announced a $50 million initiative to empower female entrepreneurs in developing countries. Director-General Okonjo-Iweala also commended the UAE for its commitment to open trade and its contributions to supporting developing countries.

She expressed confidence that the conference will be successful despite global uncertainties and urged WTO members to work towards consensus on decisions that will shape a brighter future for global trade.

Akashvani correspondent reports, At the Raisina Dialogue at New Delhi, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industries made it abundantly clear that the Indian government does not rush into concluding trade negotiations because Free Trade Agreements impact the country for several years.

Therefore, it follows a careful and calibrated approach. Concerns have been raised regarding attempts to include issues in the WTO that are not part of world trade. India will strive to ensure that the WTO’s guiding principles are maintained. India has concerns about the European Union’s tax imposition regarding the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism.

India will address this issue within WTO rules and explore bilateral discussions with the EU. Discussions on the Work Program on Electronic Commerce are another key agenda for the 13th Ministerial Conference , but a consensus on the draft ministerial decision remains elusive.

Earlier, a global consortium of semiconductor industry groups urged India to reconsider its plan to push for duties on cross-border digital e-commerce before the Conference, making this conference of paramount importance for India.

India’s small-scale fishermen and local coastal communities are hurt by overfishing activity and in this regard India is expected to demand a moratorium on fishing subsidies from advanced countries, including the United States and the European Union.

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