Reforms Required in the World Trade Organisation

The 12th Ministerial Conference of WTO is scheduled to take place from 30th November to 3rd December in Geneva. The World Trade Organization is the principal forum for setting the rules of international trade. For the past two and a half decades, it has helped reduce barriers to trade in both goods and services and created a dispute resolution system that supporters say reduced the threat of trade wars. However with negotiations on a comprehensive development agenda foundering due to disagreements the WTO is under considerable pressure to achieve meaningful results. The committee on agriculture is yet to find a solution to the issue of Public Stockholding. India has warned that there is an attempt to drive a wedge between developing and least developing countries on public stockholding and sought a permanent solution on an issue that is critical for procurement by agencies such as Food Corporation of India. Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has also recently said that developed countries linking WTO reforms with special and differential treatment being provided to poor and developing nations, is unfair and the trade body needs to reassess the way it has been conducting its affairs.

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