India urges WTO to focus on trade rather than non-trade issues

Raipur/Sources: Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday, February 26 said that the World Trade Organization (WTO) should not discuss non-trade issues like climate change, gender, labor and other issues. These issues should be taken up with the concerned inter-ministerial organizations.

Addressing the 13th WTO Ministerial Council meeting virtually, the minister said, ‘India firmly believes that no issue to combat climate change should be arbitrary, unfair, discriminatory or impose restrictions on international trade. No unilateral measures should be included in this sequence.

The four-day 13th MC began on February 26 in Abu Dhabi. The highest decision making body of the WTO is the Interministerial Conference. It can take decisions on any matter under the rules of multilateral trade.

Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal addressed the session organized on sustainable development and policy issues of industrialization. He stressed the need to avoid fragmentation in the multilateral trade organization. He stressed the need to focus on other issues instead of non-trade issues on the WTO’s agenda.

Indian officials had already said that India would oppose any action plan or talks on non-trade issues. Goyal also called for a permanent solution to the long-pending issue of public stockholding for food security. This issue is directly linked to the sustainable development goal of zero hunger by 2030.

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