Issues such as ending moratorium on customs duties on e-commerce trade and matters pertaining to the agriculture sector are likely to come up in the forthcoming mini-ministerial meet of the WTO in Paris on June 7, an official said.
Trade ministers of certain countries, including India, Australia, and the US, may participate in the meet, which would be held on the sidelines of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and development (OECD) meeting.
This ministerial meet will happen in the run up to the 13th ministerial conference (MC) of the WTO, which is scheduled in February next year in the UAE. MC is the highest decision making body of the Geneva-based WTO.
"Issues like agriculture, moratorium on e-commerce trade, patent waiver for Covid related therapeutics and other equipment may come up in the meeting," the official said.
In the 12th MC at Geneva in June last year, WTO members secured a 'Geneva Package' which included agreements on curbing harmful fishing subsidies and temporary patent waiver for production of COVID-19 vaccines.
The 164-member WTO (World Trade Organization) formulates rules for global exports and imports and adjudicates disputes between two or more than two nations. As per its rules, all decisions are taken by consensus and a single member nation can veto a decision.
India strongly opposes continuation of the moratorium on customs duties on e-commerce trade at the WTO as the issue has huge implications for the economy of developing countries.
The WTO members had agreed not to impose customs duties on electronic transmissions since 1998 and the moratorium has been periodically extended at successive WTO's ministerial conferences.
India has also called for finding a permanent solution to the issue of public stockholding for food security at the ministerial-level meeting of the WTO, scheduled to be held in Abu Dhabi in February 2024.
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