WTO and India

No WTO deal without food security: India

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: IR | Important International institutions, agencies & fora, their structure, mandate

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: WTO, WTO Ministerial Conference, Doha Round of negotiations, Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS) Agreement

Mains level: Issues related to food security and WTO agreements


News

Issue of public stockholding crucial

  1. India has said it cannot envisage any negotiated outcome, at the ongoing meeting of the World Trade Organisation’s apex decision-making body, which does not include successful resolution of the food security right issue
  2. At the Plenary Session of the WTO Ministerial Conference (MC), India’s commerce and industry minister said the permanent solution for public stockholding for food security purposes is a matter of survival for 800 million hungry and undernourished people in the world

What does India want?

  1. India wants the WTO membership to re-endorse the centrality of development (the agenda to improve the trading prospects of developing nations) in WTO negotiations without creating new sub-categories of countries
  2. This is in the context of attempts by certain rich countries to wreck the broad unity among developing nations on a host of issues
  3. Developed countries such as U.S. have suggested that countries such as India and China are currently emerging economies and reasonably strong in trade — unlike others in the developing world
  4. Therefore, such powerful nations that are still in the ‘developing’ category do not deserve to gain from the favorable treatment meant only for developing nations in WTO Agreements

‘No’ to ‘new issues’

  1. India opposed the endeavor of certain countries to include ‘new issues’ — such as e-commerce, investment facilitation and matters relating to small firms — in the ongoing Doha Round of negotiations
  2. The Minister also pushed India’s proposal for a Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS) Agreement, which, among other things, aims to liberalize rules on movement of professionals and skilled workers across borders for temporary work/projects
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