New Delhi: World Trade Organisation chief Roberto Azevdo has called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The WTO director-general is here for a mini-ministerial meeting.
"Had a wonderful meeting with Mr. Roberto Azevdo, Director-General of the WTO" the PM tweeted and posted a picture with him.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 19, 2018
Delegates from as many as 52 countries, including the US and China, are participating in the informal meeting of the WTO called by India amidst increasing protectionism in global trade.
India has called this meet to explore options to reinvigorate the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The meeting comes against the backdrop of imposition of import duties on steel and aluminium by the US administration, and Washington dragging India to the WTO against export incentive programmes.
Although India has invited Pakistan for the meeting, it has decided to skip the conference.
WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo, who is here for the meet, has said: "We are facing many challenges in the WTO and outside. Trade environment globally is very risky at this point of time. We will try to have an open and honest conversation at the informal WTO meeting here".
The meeting has been convened by India in the aftermath of failure of the trade talks at Buenos Aires last year on account of differences among the members of the WTO.
The rich nations are forming groupings to prepare ground for pushing new issues such as investment facilitation, preparing rules for e-commerce, promoting gender equality and reducing subsidy on fisheries.
India has been keenly pushing agriculture issues at the WTO. It has also been raising its voice against bringing new issues, especially those which are not directly linked to trade, to the negotiating table.
The talks at the WTO's 11th ministerial conference collapsed after the US went back on its commitment to find a permanent solution to the public food stockholding issue, a key matter for India.
The four-day conference in Argentina, which ended without a ministerial declaration or any substantive outcome, did manage to make feeble progress on fisheries and e-commerce by agreeing to work programmes.
With PTI Inputs