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‘Give equal weightage to developing nations’- India
July 29, 2013, 4:15 pm


The TFA is a proposal put forward by developed countries at the WTO which seeks trade facilitation [AP]

India’s chief negotiator at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) says if talks on the G-33 proposal for developing countries do not move forward, the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) may also not see any progress.

“India is looking for a possible outcome in Bali meet. But we are also circumspect that if G-33 proposal and some of the developmental elements do not move, then TFA also may not move,” said Rajeev Kher, at a WTO function in Delhi.

The G-33 proposal, raised by developing countries like India and China, would lift the limit on subsidised food stockpiling to support poor farmers.

“TFA is a desirable agreement. But (the way) it is placed on the table, it does not have all the elements the developing countries would want…the proposal mooted by countries like India have to be given equal weightage and equal seriousness,” he said.

The TFA is a proposal put forward by developed countries at the organisation which seeks trade facilitation.

The ninth WTO Ministerial Conference will be held in Bali from December 3-6.

Differences between developed nations like the US and developing nations like India have led to the stalling of the Doha round of talks of WTO.

The Indian official also warned that if no resolution was found to the disputes, the relevance of the multi-lateral body would be at stake.

Kher said the TFA would put tremendous pressure on developing countries like India in terms of the requirement of human resources, finance and infrastructure needed to change laws, procedures and practices.

Brazilian-born Roberto Azevedo was elected to lead the WTO in May ,in a first for the BRICS nations, and will take over from Pascal Lamy in September.

Source: Agencies