WTO Meeting – Seeking Permanent Solution over Food Security Issues

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The 11th four day Ministerial Conference of World Trade Organization (WTO) having 164 Nations began on Sunday, the 10th December, 2017 at Buenos Aires, Argentina. India’s priority is to find a permanent solution on public stock holding programs for food security purposes. Commerce and Industry Minister Mr. Suresh Prabhu stressed to improve the Bali Package for its public procurement program for food grains.

However, there is less hope to get permanent solutions over these issues in this 11th Ministerial Conference. As both Developed and Developing nations are adamant on their own agendas.

This Ministerial Conference is the higher body to take decisions of WTO. Developing nations seeks permanent solution over food security issue whereas Developed countries are trying to desist. Developed countries emphasized the need to start negotiations on e-commerce or investment facilitation without settling the old ones including a reduction in huge trade distorting subsidies by the rich nations.

While India is opposed to discuss the new issues as it stressed on public stockholding. The government believes that many of these issues are non trade issues such as e-commerce.

A group of more than 70 Least Developed Countries and Developing Countries have conflict over issues of discussions in the 11th Ministerial meetings.

WTO has appointed five facilitators for discussions in the ministerial meetings, which include issues like agriculture, fisheries, services and non agriculture and e-commerce.

Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu told the WTO members to “Re-endorse the centrality of development in negotiation without creating new sub-categories of countries.”

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