wto: WTO’s farm rules favour developed nations, cohesive G33 to aim for fair outcomes: Piyush Goyal

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Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal has said that the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on agriculture are riddled with deep imbalances which favour the developed countries and have tilted the rules against many developing countries.

At the virtual informal meeting of the G33 on Thursday, he also asked the members to work collectively to retain the cohesion of the coalition and strengthen it further by reaching out to other like-minded developing groups.

India is a part of the G33, which is a group of 47 developing and least developed countries.

“He highlighted that Agreement on Agriculture at the WTO was riddled with deep imbalances, which favour the developed countries and have tilted the rules against many developing countries and therefore as a first step in agriculture reform, the historical asymmetries and imbalances must be corrected in order to ensure a rule-based, fair and equitable order,” Goyal was quoted in an official statement.

The minister also said that as part of the trust-building exercise for the ministerial, G33 must strive for positive outcomes on permanent solution to Public Stockholding (PSH) for food security purposes which is of utmost importance, finalization of a Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) quickly and a balanced outcome on Domestic Support.

The informal ministerial meeting was chaired by the Indonesia’s trade minister Muhammad Lutfi and Director General of WTO, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala delivered the Keynote Remarks, the government said.

Out of a total of 47 G-33 Members, representatives from 21 Member countries, including India, took the floor to make brief intervention.

As per the release, the meeting concluded with the adoption of the G-33 Joint Ministerial Statement reaffirming commitment for expeditious resolution of the WTO’s mandated issues in agriculture. The meeting also called for satisfactorily addressing the development issues of developing countries and LDCs with Special and Differential Treatment as an integral part of international trade negotiations.

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