Trade ministers from nearly 20 countries, including India and the US, are expected to converge in Oslo later this month to deliberate on the road ahead, including the post-Nairobi programme, for WTO.
“It will be a kind of WTO mini-ministerial meeting. About 20-22 trade ministers may attend the meeting. Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is likely to participate, besides WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo and others,” an official said.
The meeting assumes significance as India has recently floated a concept note pitching for a trade facilitation agreement (TFA) in services. The official said issues like implementation of the TFA in goods and work programme for the post-Nairobi meet may be discussed.
TFA in goods will come into force once two-thirds of members have completed their ratification process. It contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective co-operation between Customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and compliance issues.
The 2-day meeting will start from October 21.
After the 5-day talks in Nairobi last year, India had expressed its disappointment over non-reaffirmation to conclude 14-year-old Doha Round issues. The WTO trade ministers concluded their talks without any commitment on rich countries being asked to check their domestic subsidies