Source: News Bharati English24 Oct 2016 12:16:58

New Delhi, October 24: With a view to informally discuss various issues relating to the WTO negotiations, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, attended a mini Ministerial gathering of Trade Ministers organized by Norway in Oslo on 21-22 October 2016. They are also set the stage for the Eleventh Ministerial Conference of the WTO (MC11) to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in December 2017. The gathering was organized in recognition of the need for continued ministerial engagement in order to find a way forward in the WTO negotiations.
In her interventions, Commerce Minister highlighted the centrality of the development dimension of the Doha Round and the need to work on the issues and Ministerial Decisions of special interest for developing countries. She underscored the need for prioritizing the implementation of Bali and Nairobi Ministerial Decisions.

Sitharaman stressed the importance of ensuring adequate policy space for developing countries in the negotiations. She underlined the need for creating a level playing field for the developing countries in agricultural trade by addressing inequities and distortions which are threatening the livelihood of millions of poor farmers across the world. Drawing attention to the livelihood and food security concerns of fishermen in developing countries, she underscored the importance of special and differential provisions in the disciplines on fisheries subsidies.

On the issue of securing success at MC11 and beyond, the Minister called for the need to focus on putting concrete ideas on the table for moving from ‘reflection to action’. Emphasizing the primacy of multilateralism, she cautioned against use of RTAs to make fundamental changes in the architecture of the WTO agreements.

The Minister also highlighted the need for Trade facilitation in services on which India has recently introduced a concept note in the WTO. This will remove unnecessary regulatory and administrative burden of cross border supply of services benefiting all members.

Commerce and Industry Minister held a bilateral meeting with H.E. Ms Susana Mabel Malcorra, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship on the sidelines of the ministerial gathering. The Minister congratulated the Argentine Minister on hosting the Eleventh Ministerial Conference of the WTO in December 2017.

They exchanged views on WTO issues and bilateral trade cooperation. Both sides agreed to identify sectors for promoting bilateral investment. The Ministers agreed that there was considerable scope for deepening the economic ties and promoting trade and investment between the two countries. Smt.Sitharaman also met Mr Roberto Azevedo, DG WTO and discussed the means to achieve inclusive and balanced outcomes at MC -11.