India to host meeting of some WTO members in February

By: | Published: December 17, 2017 4:53 PM

Commerce and India Minister Suresh Prabhu has said India will call a meeting of some WTO members in February to muster support for food security and other issues.

Suresh Prabhu, Commerce and India Minister, food security, WTO members, india, WTO members, india agriculture, no trade issuesIndia has been keenly pushing agriculture issues at the WTO. (Reuters)

Commerce and India Minister Suresh Prabhu has said India will call a meeting of some WTO members in February to muster support for food security and other issues. “We are planning a meeting of WTO members in February,” the minister said, adding it would be like a mini-ministerial meeting. Although the contours of the meeting would be worked out later, he said the aim was to bring like-minded nations together and explain to them the country’s position as well as concerns over issues of common interest. This comes against the backdrop of developed nations forming groupings to prepare the ground for pushing investment facilitation, preparing rules for e-commerce, promoting gender equality and reducing subsidy on fisheries with a view to curbing illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

India has been keenly pushing agriculture issues at the WTO. It has also been raising its voice against bringing new issues, especially those which are not directly linked to trade, on the negotiating table. The meeting, according to officials, would help India in explaining its stand on various issues to the member nations and preparing them for collective action. India has been arguing that there are various other international forums to deal with specific subjects and non- trade issues, especially those concerning gender and climate change, need not be taken up at the WTO.

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