WTO chief Roberto Azevdo calls on PM Narendra Modi

Mar 21, 2018, 03:43
WTO chief Roberto Azevdo calls on PM Narendra Modi

Prabhu said India and China will have a separate bilateral meeting next week on trade related issues, especially India's widening trade deficit with that country.

Expressing concerns over rising protectionism in developed countries, especially in the USA which has imposed high import duties on steel and aluminium, WTO (World Trade Organization) Director General Roberto Azevedo on Monday called upon the member nations to come together and resolve the issues related to global trade.

Since the U.S. president's announcement of an increase in the tariffs on imports, it was the first time that WTO members were meeting.

The countries affected by the U.S. action include Japan, Korea, India and the European Union among others. Apart from having discussion with the government in Delhi, he also attended meetings with e-commerce players, where several indicated that they were apprehensive of losing out on the opportunity of global majors investing in them. Special treatment allows longer time frames to such nations than their developed counterparts to implement a particular trade agenda, among other facilities.

World Trade Oorganisation Director General Roberto Azevedo said the conversation at the ministerial meeting would help the multilateral body in taking forward the negotiations on issues such as dispute settlement.

Besides, WTO members also deliberated on food security and special treatment for developing nations during the meeting.

"Members committed to continuing negotiations on various issues including on the ones where we made no progress under the Doha round", Mr. Azevedo said. "And I think the institution itself could say the same because such measures, for whatever reason, have a very real potential for escalation because of the possibility of responses from other partners with trade restrictive measures as well, and that is something we should avoid".

India's steel and aluminium exports to the United States amount to about $1.5 billion and account for about 2 percent of that country's total steel and aluminium imports.

Earlier, India had extended an invitation to Pakistan Commerce Minister Pervaiz Malik for the meeting and he had confirmed his participation also.

Azevedo, further added that the global trade environment is quite risky and WTO is seeking an open and honest conversation with its member countries. He said that instead of escalating tensions, the WTO member countries need to find ways to resolve issues hampering global trade constructively.