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WTO Agreement on Agriculture tilted against developing countries, says Piyush Goyal

WTO Agreement on Agriculture tilted against developing countries, says Piyush Goyal

Goyal said as the first step towards agriculture reform, "the historical asymmetries and imbalances must be corrected in order to ensure a rule-based, fair and equitable order"

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was riddled with deep imbalances, which favours the developed countries. He said as the first step towards agriculture reform, "the historical asymmetries and imbalances must be corrected in order to ensure a rule-based, fair and equitable order."

Piyush Goyal was speaking at the G-33 Virtual Informal Ministerial Meeting organised by Indonesia to discuss the agricultural priority issues of G-33, and the way forward for the Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC-12) that is scheduled to be held from November 30, 2021, to December 3, 2021.

At the meeting, the Commerce Minister said that as part of the trust-building exercise for MC-12, G-33 members must strive for positive outcomes. This would entail a permanent solution to Public Stockholding for food security purposes, he said.

He urged G-33 members to work collectively to retain the cohesion of the coalition and strengthen it by reaching out to other like-minded developing groups. This will secure their support for a fair, balanced and development-centric outcome on agriculture at the MC-12, he said.

"The meeting concluded with the adoption of the G-33 Joint Ministerial Statement reaffirming commitment for expeditious resolution of the WTO's mandated issues in agriculture," the ministry statement said.

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