is a strong supporter of the multilateral trading system and is committed to
strengthening it and ensuring that the WTO remains a key pillar of the global
economic edifice. The WTO is in the best interest of
developing countries, especially the poorest, most marginalized ones among them
and we are determined to work to strengthen this institution.
The principles of non-discrimination,
predictability, transparency and, most importantly, the commitment to
development underlying the multilateral trading system are too valuable to
lose. Plurilateral trading arrangements, among a few, cannot substitute the
multilateral system and are also against the spirit of the fundamental WTO
principles of transparency and inclusiveness.
for India’s Stand
The Doha Development Agenda which was agreed
in the year 2001 is the very first round dedicated
to development. The agenda is a fine balance between market access and
We supported the Bali Package but when
subsequent developments belied that hope, India had no option but to seek a
course correction. India, therefore, took the stand that
till there was an assurance of our concerns being addressed, it would be
difficult to join the consensus on the Protocol of Amendment for the Trade
Rules and Food Security
The relationship between international trade and
food security has been the subject of debate; so also, the role of WTO rules in
enabling and promoting food security.
While the relevant WTO rules recognize food
security concerns, their primary focus is to liberalise agricultural trade
rather than to ensure food security. However, the fact is that some of these
rules are proving to be a hindrance to food security efforts.
We believe that the rules of the WTO should
support the food security efforts of countries “rather than policies having to
tiptoe around WTO rules,” as the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to
Commitment to the Trade Facilitation
India has repeatedly
reiterated its commitment to the Trade Facilitation Agreement.
We recognise its value
for trade and for that very reason we agreed to it in the larger interest of
However, for developing countries the
benefits may not be commensurate with the associated costs. Implementation of
the rest of the Bali Decisions will give some comfort to the developing
countries and LDCs, even though most of the non-binding decisions do not hold
out the promise of substantial gains for these countries. We will continue to
work for the implementation of the Bali Package and the DDA.
Understanding of India’s Position/Resonance in the Developing World
While there was much media debate and
concerns expressed regarding the impact of India’s stand in the WTO, it has
undeniably resonated across the world. Many
countries saw merit in what we were
asking for. India was never
alone or isolated. Others were unfortunately simply
not speaking up.
Call to WTO Membership to
Take this Forward
We are extremely happy that India
and the US have successfully resolved their differences relating to the issue
of public stockholding for food security purposes in the WTO in a manner that
addresses our concerns.
This will end the impasse at the WTO and also
open the way for implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement.
We are confident that the membership will
take the matter forward in the WTO in a constructive spirit. This would be an
important contribution by the WTO reflecting its commitment to development.
We urge the WTO membership to take this
forward in the General Council on behalf of the Ministerial Conference and pave
the way to spurring the WTO to more such successes.