WTO MC12: After seven years, India’s big success in the WTO Ministerial Conference, expected results are expected


India’s thumping victory in the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial conference forced the developed countries to succumb to its issues. After discussions in developing countries and developed countries, the ministerial meeting was forced to consider draft issues on fisheries, health, WTO reform, digital technology, food security and the environment. Some of the issues of India have been included in the agreement. This is a big win for India as well as developing countries.

Sources said a major breakthrough is expected in the ongoing 12th WTO Ministerial Conference on some key negotiating issues including issues related to World Food Program (WFP) and e-commerce. In fisheries, some of India’s concerns are likely to be addressed with no restrictions on subsidies to fishermen and women. The result is also expected to ban illegal fishing and in-depth fishing.

India expressed displeasure on these issues

India openly expressed displeasure over the role of developed countries in food security and fisheries. India had objections about certain provisions in the draft decisions related to agriculture, trade and food security brought by the DG-WTO last month. At the same time, developed countries have abolished the terms of the TRIPS patent. On the other hand, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal made it clear in the conference that the draft fisheries agreement is not acceptable to India. Meanwhile, the conference has been extended for another day and some issues have reportedly been agreed upon.

Regarding TRIPS, sources said that it has been agreed that any country can manufacture and export without patent transfer and there will be no restriction on export. But in the expected outcome on the WFP, member states will agree that in the event of a deficit in a country, it can freeze exports under the programme.

Sources said India played a key role in including the voice of the developing world in the WTO. The WTO conference is expected to end with some good results for the first time in seven years. Although, apart from the European Union, developed countries like America, Britain tried to stop it, but India did not allow this to happen. According to sources, hectic talks one after another with stakeholders from developed and developing countries led by Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and his team paved the way for the outcome.

Responding to the WTO media, Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said, “India is confident that this will be one of the most successful WTO ministerial conferences in a long time.” Earlier on Wednesday, Piyush Goyal said that India strongly supports the agenda of strong WTO reforms and modernization but the multilateral rule-making process of the organization should not be diluted.

India represented developing countries

India remained at the center of negotiations in the WTO conference. Developing countries were strongly represented by India. The result was that the developed countries had to consider India’s role in many drafts. In a way, India stood out globally for its MSMEs, farmers and fishermen. Also, strengthened the voice of the poor and vulnerable at the global level.

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