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India won't back WTO trade protocol

Staff writer ▼ | July 24, 2014
India has told the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it will not endorse a trade facilitation protocol by its deadline of July 31 unless its concerns on food security and public stockholding are addressed.
India food
India foodIndia has told the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it will not endorse a trade facilitation protocol by its deadline of July 31 unless its concerns on food security and public stockholding are addressed.


In a telephone conversation with WTO director general Roberto Azevedo, India's trade minister Nirmala Sitharaman communicated India's stance, expressing disappointment that the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) protocol is being put before the general council even after India expressed its reservations.

Sitharaman also spoke to South Africa's trade minister Rob Davies, who supports India's position on food security, to coordinate the stand of both countries at WTO, a person familiar with the development said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

India's permanent representative to WTO, Anjali Prasad, told the preparatory committee on trade facilitation in Geneva on 3 July that the pace of implementation of the Bali decisions has been heavily skewed in favour of TFA, and decisions on other matters that were meant to have progressed together have been relegated to the background.

"We are deeply concerned that the ministerial decision on public stockholding for food security purposes is getting sidelined," Prasad said.

"Till we have an assurance and visible outcomes which convince developing countries that members will engage in negotiations with commitment to finding a permanent solution on public stockholding and other Bali deliverables, India will find it difficult to join the consensus on the protocol of amendment."


 

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