27 nations’ envoys urge India to support trade facilitation

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 30, 2014 Published on July 30, 2014

WTO chief too calls on India to break the deadlock

Envoys to India from 27 countries have asked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to support the Trade Facilitation Agreement at the World Trade Organisation, as it could help put the Doha Round of trade talks back on track.

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo, too, has communicated a proposal to India to break the current stalemate in talks, but New Delhi feels that it does not adequately meet its concerns.

Norwegian Ambassador to India Eivind S Homme gave a letter signed by 27 countries to Jaitley on Wednesday highlighting the importance of implementing the decisions taken in the Trade Ministers meeting in Bali in December.

The countries include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Hong Kong China, Iceland, Israel, Korea, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Mexico and New Zealand.

“Adopting the Protocol will put WTO Members in a position to move ahead with the other elements of the Bali package, and back on track towards concluding the Doha negotiations,” the letter said.

Standing firm

New Delhi, however, is firm on its stand that till a permanent solution to its problem of ensuring that its food security programmes are not actionable at the WTO, it will not support a trade facilitation pact.

India wants no action to be taken against it by other members in case its food support subsidies breach the given cap of 10 per cent of agriculture production.

“We are studying the proposal made by the WTO DG and the letter by the Ambassadors, but we continue to stick to our stand,” a Government official said.

Published on July 30, 2014

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