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India calls for changes in WTO to transform world economy

Monday, February 26, 2018

India yesterday called for bringing changes in Geneva-based World Trade Organisation (WTO) to transform the global economy.

Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said that the global trade has benefitted all the nations in terms of creation of jobs and promoting economic activities.

"Now the question is whether we should make WTO better or forget it. Organisations need reformation all the time and it needs to be changed with change in times," he said here at the CII’s Partnership Summit.

Prabhu said the WTO was created on certain solid principles including democracy and transparency and even the smallest country has a say in the 164-member organisation.

"That is something which is a very unique characteristic. Therefore, we must bring in transformation in the WTO itself to transform the world economy. To bring that transformation, we have to put constant efforts," he said.

As part of such efforts, Prabhu said, India is organising a mini-ministerial meeting on March 19 and 20.

India has invited representatives from several countries to discuss, debate and “find out ways of how to move forward,” he added.

"This forum is not meeting one against the other. It is not against any country in the world. This is congregation, which will be represented by all countries in the world," the minister said.

The meeting, a sort of mini-ministerial, has been convened by India in the aftermath of failure of trade talks at Buenos Aires last year on account of differences among the members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

India has invited ministers from the US, European Union, Australia, China, New Zealand and several African countries.

The talks at the WTO's 11th ministerial conference collapsed after the US went back on its commitment to find a permanent solution to the public food stockholding issue, a key matter for India.

In a separate session, he said after achieving ease of doing business targets, “we should move to peace of doing business” as companies should enjoy doing the business.

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