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WTO Bali deal protects farmers, business: India Inc

New Delhi, Dec 7 : The trade deal clinched Saturday in Bali by 159 members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is a victory for the multilateral trading system and it protects the interests of Indian farmers, poor and businesses, industry leaders said.


"We are very happy with the agreement on trade facilitation that would help reducing transaction costs, cutting red tape, improving transparency, simplifying and streamlining customs and port procedures, among others," said the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) president Naina Lal Kidwai.

Referring to various estimates, Kidwai said trade facilitation deal could result in a $1 billion rise in worldwide GDP and create around 21 million new jobs.

"The outcome of the 9th Ministerial Conference shows that WTO can still deliver and it is possible to take the Doha development round forward by building on the progress achieved so far," she said.

At the 9th Ministerial conference in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, WTO members Saturday approved a deal to liberalise the international trade norms. This is the first ever successful deal reached by the WTO since it was set up in 1995.

The new deal called "Bali Package" also allows developing countries like India to continue offering subsidies for their food procurement programme.

"While agreement on food security will ensure a fair deal for the subsistence farmers and the vulnerable sections in the developing countries, the deal on trade facilitation will improve efficiency at the international trade borders and reduce the transaction costs, particularly for the Indian exporters," said Assocham secretary general D. S. Rawat.

Reacting on the development, Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) India chairman Anupam Shah said the Bali agreement would make life easier for Indian exporters.

"Our efficiency and transaction costs will improve by leaps and bounds, once the agreement comes into operations," said Shah urging the WTO members to ensure that all the time-lines for its implementation are adhered to.

Indian exports suffer largely at the hands of customs and ports not only within the country but in several parts of the world. Besides, the agreement will make it difficult for some countries which tend to slap non-tariff barriers against exports from the developing countries, Shah said.

"The outcomes on food security is a big victory for multilateral trading system and truly a historic achievement for all member countries," said Deep Kapuria, leader of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) business delegation to the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference.

"It will not only restore the faith of a large number of developing countries in the multilateral trading system but bring back the credibility of WTO in delivering on its core development mandate as agreed in 2001 at Doha," said Kapuria, who is the chairman of MSME council of the CII.

--IANS (Posted on 07-12-2013)

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