Representatives from 50 countries will gather in New Delhi today for a two-day informal World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting. The meeting will provide an opportunity to engage in free and frank discussions with the hope that it will lead to political guidance on some major issues.
In the absence of Ministerial guidance at the Eleventh Ministerial Conference (MC 11) that took place in December last year in Buenos Aires, it is hoped that the meeting in New Delhi will provide an opportunity for ministers to explore in greater detail options on different issues for re-invigorating the WTO.
This informal meeting of WTO ministers, without a pre-announced agenda, is aimed at facilitating an exchange of views on various challenges facing the multilateral trading system. The meeting will provide an opportunity for ministers to explore in greater detail the options on different issues for re-invigorating the WTO.
This is the second WTO mini-ministerial meeting being hosted by India, after the first in 2009. The meeting assumes significance after the collapse of WTO Buenos Aires ministerial talks in December last year.
The meeting will strive to find a permanent solution to the food stock-holding by WTO member countries. Under WTO norms, a member country’s food subsidy bill should not exceed 10 per cent of the value of production. India has been seeking the amendment to this formula.