WTO must address developing nations' concerns: Anand Sharma

Nusa Dua (Indonesia), Dec 3 : A balanced result from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting is possible only if the genuine concerns of the developing countries like India are addressed satisfactorily, India's Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said here Tuesday.

During a series of meetings with his counterparts and ministers from other WTO member-countries, Sharma said ensuring a positive outcome from the ministerial meeting is the "collective responsibility" of all the members of the multilateral trade body.

Sharma said ensuring food security for large populations was a common concern shared by developing countries, including India and China, as WTO rules in the area of agricultural support have become dated and do not take into account rising prices, according to a statement released by India's commerce ministry.

Sharma held bilateral meetings with representative of several countries, including Karel de Gucht, trade commissioner of the European Union (EU), Gao Hucheng, commerce minister of China, Bireme Abderahim, trade minister of Chad, and Mike Bimha, trade minister of Zimbabwe.

At a luncheon meeting of the India, Brazil, and South Africa (IBSA) ministers, Sharma reiterated India's concerns, especially on the issue of food security.

"Brazil and South Africa conveyed agreement with India's position and wanted to know how best these could be accommodated in the Bali package," a commerce ministry statement said.

Rob Davies, minister of trade and industry of South Africa, and Luiz Alberto F. Machado, minister of external relations of Brazil, participated in the meeting.

Sharma said the issue to be addressed was not just of food security, but inadequacies in the whole draft Bali proposals - whether on export completion, tariff rate quota administration, or trade facilitation.

--IANS (Posted on 03-12-2013)

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