G-10 Ministers confer progress on WTO negotiations

PTI Davos | Updated on January 26, 2013 Published on January 26, 2013

Ministers from G-10 countries, including the US, today held discussions on the progress made at WTO negotiations, especially issues related to the agriculture market.

Persisting differences between developed and developing nations have been a major hurdle in concluding the global trade talks, which began way back in 2001. Debate over access to agriculture market in the developing world, including India, remains unresolved.

The ministerial meeting of G—10 nations was held prior to an informal WTO Ministerial gathering organised by Switzerland on the sidelines of World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meet.

According to an official Swiss spokesperson, G—10 members emphasised they have always been engaged constructively, besides being proactive in trying to achieve a reasonable balance between liberalising agricultural markets and the need to accommodate members’ specific domestic concerns.

“Ministers emphasised, however, that possible deliverables based on progress achieved in the Doha Round cannot be identified predominantly in the area of agriculture; a balance with other issues is necessary,” the spokesperson said.

India and other developing nations are defending their agricultural markets to protect millions of subsistence farmers from easy imports that may result from multi—lateral agreement.

According to the spokesperson, the G—10 ministers said the multilateral trading system has a role to play in addressing global food security.

They also underlined that a clarification and strengthening of WTO disciplines on export prohibitions and restrictions would increase assurance to Members about their ability to access foodstuffs and feeds in world markets.

Meanwhile, G—10 ministers also reiterated their commitment to a successful conclusion of the Doha Round of trade negotiations.

“G—10 Ministers renewed their determination to engage and work constructively with all other Members to advance the work at the WTO,” the spokesperson said.

Besides the US, other G—10 group has Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK as members.

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Published on January 26, 2013
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