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Oslo Trade Ministers Meeting
Oct 28, 2016

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, attended a mini Ministerial gathering of Trade Ministers organized by Norway in Oslo recently. 

  • The two-day meeting was convened with a view to informally discuss various issues relating to the WTO negotiations and also to set the stage for the Eleventh Ministerial Conference of the WTO (MC11) to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in December 2017. 
  • The gathering was organized in recognition of the need for continued ministerial engagement in order to find a way forward in the WTO negotiations. 

In her interventions, India highlighted the centrality of the development dimension of the Doha Round and the need to work on the issues and Ministerial Decisions of special interest for developing countries. India underscored the need for prioritizing the implementation of Bali and Nairobi Ministerial Decisions. 

  • India stressed the importance of ensuring adequate policy space for developing countries in the negotiations. 
  • India underlined the need for creating a level playing field for the developing countries in agricultural trade by addressing inequities and distortions which are threatening the livelihood of millions of poor farmers across the world. 
  • Drawing attention to the livelihood and food security concerns of fishermen in developing countries, India underscored the importance of special and differential provisions in the disciplines on fisheries subsidies. 
  • On the issue of securing success at MC11 and beyond, India called for the need to focus on putting concrete ideas on the table for moving from ‘reflection to action’.
  • Emphasising the primacy of multilateralism, India cautioned against use of RTAs to make fundamental changes in the architecture of the WTO agreements. 
  • India also highlighted the need for Trade facilitation in services on which it has recently introduced a concept note in the WTO. This will remove unnecessary regulatory and administrative burden of cross border supply of services benefiting all members. 

The Indian Minister held a bilateral meeting with Ms Susana Mabel Malcorra, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship on the sidelines of the ministerial gathering. The Minister congratulated the Argentine Minister on hosting the Eleventh Ministerial Conference of the WTO in December 2017. They exchanged views on WTO issues and bilateral trade cooperation. 

Both sides agreed to identify sectors for promoting bilateral investment. The Ministers agreed that there was considerable scope for deepening the economic ties and promoting trade and investment between the two countries. 

 


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