Historical asymmetries and imbalances must be corrected, India’s Commerce and Industry Minister said

India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said that the Agreement on Agriculture at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was riddled with deep imbalances, which favour the developed countries and have tilted the rules against many developing countries.

Addressing the G-33 Virtual Informal Ministerial Meeting organized by Indonesia on Thursday, Goyal said that as a first step in agriculture reform, the historical asymmetries and imbalances must be corrected in order to ensure a rule-based, fair and equitable order.

The meeting was called to discuss the Agricultural Priority Issues of G33 and the Way Forward for the Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC-12) scheduled to be held from November 30 to December 3.

The Commerce and Industry Minister emphasized that as part of the trust-building exercise for MC- 12, G-33 must strive for positive outcomes on permanent solution to Public Stockholding (PSH) for food security purposes which is of utmost importance, finalization of a Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) quickly and a balanced outcome on Domestic Support.

He urged the G-33 members to work collectively to retain the cohesion of G 33 coalition and strengthen it further by reaching out to other like-minded developing groups to secure their support for a fair, balanced and development -centric outcome on agriculture at MC-12.
The Informal Ministerial Meeting was chaired by Indonesian Minister of Trade, Muhammad Lutfi.

WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo Iweala delivered the Keynote Remarks.

Out of a total of 47 G-33 Members, representatives from 21 member countries, including India, took the floor to make brief interventions.

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 meeting also called for satisfactorily addressing the development issues of developing countries and LDCs with Special and Differential Treatment as an integral part of international trade negotiations.