The success of the Bali Ministerial last month is expected to help put the stalled Doha round of trade negotiations back on track, the World Trade Organisation’s director general Roberto Azevedo said on Tuesday. The WTO is currently working on defining the steps to be taken towards reaching a conclusion of deliberations, he said. “We have a chance to make the year 2014 as the year that put the Doha round back on track. It will not be easy but it is achievable and we hope that together we can capitalize the success of Bali and seize the opportunity it has provided,” Azevedo said at the CII Partnership Summit in Bangalore.
At the ninth ministerial conference held in Bali last month, countries had adopted the “Bali Package”, which refers to a series of decisions aimed at streamlining trade, allowing developing countries more options for providing food security, boosting least-developed countries’ trade and helping development. The Doha round of negotiations, meanwhile, had been launched at the WTO’s fourth ministerial conference in November 2001.
“So our priority now will now be two things. First implement what we did in Bali, particularly the part where we have to provide technical assistance and build capacity in least developed countries. The second part of our programme is to define what to do next in terms of the Doha round, how do we move forward towards the conclusion of the round,” he said. Asked how soon the WTO expected to conclude the round, Azavedo said: “We would like to conclude it as soon as possible. We clearly cannot wait another 13 years.”
Some of the outcomes in Bali are estimated to provide benefits of upto $1 trillion to the world economy and create upto 21 million jobs worldwide.
Commerce minister Anand Sharma said that member countries need to develop a unified view of the three pillars of agriculture, market access to non-agriculture goods and services. Trade facilitation is being driven by new technologies which will make exports much more competitive, he said.
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