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Bali meet: WTO chief appeals Sharma for political momentum

Last Updated: Friday, October 4, 2013 - 22:28

New Delhi: New WTO chief Roberto Azevedo has appealed to Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma for a "political momentum" for successful outcome of the forthcoming Bali meet of the multilateral body.

In a letter to Sharma, he said: "There is a need for direct and personal involvement of (Trade) Ministers so that we can craft an acceptable Bali outcome".

The 9th WTO Ministerial Conference will be held in Bali from December 3-6. The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body of the 158-member WTO which meets at least once every two years.

The meeting is expected to deliberate on the long pending issues of Doha Round, including matters such as trade facilitation agreement (TFA), food security and a package for least developed countries, a senior official in the commerce ministry told PTI.

Azevedo, who has succeeded France's Pascal Lamy in September, will meet Sharma and industry chambers on Monday, the official said.

"In the letter, the new WTO head has appealed for a political momentum for the successful outcome of the Bali meet," the official added.

Under the TFA, WTO members are negotiating ways to facilitate trade, simplify and harmonise customs rules and reduce transactions cost.

India wants consensus on the G33?s food security deal at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Bali ministerial. The G33 is a group of emerging nations.

India has been demanding some of the subsidies given as part of the procurement for public stockholding from poor and marginal farmers shouldn?t be regarded as a ?prohibited subsidy? by the WTO. Currently, these are prohibited under WTO norms.

An agreement on this proposal is crucial for India, as 99 percent of its farmers fall under the low-income or resource-poor category.

The Doha talks, launched in 2001, have missed several deadlines for its conclusion due to divergent views on some of the issues between the developed countries like the US and the developing nations such as India.


First Published: Friday, October 4, 2013 - 22:28
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