WTO Commerce Ministerial meeting began in New Delhi

NEW DELHI, India today said the collapse of WTO's

appellate body for dispute settlement and the reform agenda being pushed by

certain developed economies could harm the interest of developing countries

as a twoday Commerce Ministerial Meeting of World Trade Organisation began

here.

The logjam in the appellate body is a serious threat to the dispute

settlement mechanism of the WTO and the implementation function of the

organisation, Indian Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan said at the senior

officials meeting to review key issues and challenges facing the multi

lateral trading system.

He said the continuous rise in protectionist measures was vitiating the

global economic environment and this situation does not bode well for

developing countries.

Wadhawan welcomed the participating delegation to the meeting urging them

to find a solution to the ongoing impasse in the WTO Appellate Body on an

urgent basis.

The today's senior officials' discussions will feed into the ministers'

deliberations tomorrow, officials said today.

He said India believes that developing countries need to work together to

protect their interests in the WTO negotiations through preservation of the

core fundamental principles of the WTO.

The twoday meet gives an opportunity to the participating countries of

developing a shared WTO reform proposal on issues of priority and interest

for developing countries, he added.

The meeting is being held at a time when the multilateral rulebased

trading system is facing serious and grave challenges.

The commerce minister level meeting will be held tomorrow as commerce

ministers and vice ministers of 22 WTOmember states including Bangladesh

will participate. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi is leading a four member

Bangladesh delegation that comprised of DG (BD), WTO Munir Chowdhury, Member

of Tariff Commission Dr. Mostafa Abid and WTO Deputy Director (Bangladesh)

Md. Khalilur Rahman to the meeting.

Munshi along with the members of his delegation arrived here yesterday to

join the meeting.

The participating countries areArgentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin,

Brazil, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, China, Egypt, Guatemala,

Guyana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman,

Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey and Uganda. The twoday meeting will be

interactive in order to provide an opportunity to the ministers to discuss

various issues and the way forward.

Among other issues, finding a solution to the ongoing impasse in the

Appellate Body on an urgent basis and issues of importance and priority for

developing countries including LDCs in the reform agenda would get prominence

in the discussion of the twoday meeting, officials said.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)