India will fight for preserving special and differential treatment for the developing nations at the forthcoming WTO ministerial conference at Geneva, an official said on Thursday.
India will also ensure that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) remains a relevant international body promoting orderly global trade, said Shyamal Misra, joint secretary, Commerce Minister.
He was participating in a discussion organised by the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) on the ‘Issues before Twelfth WTO Ministerial’ ahead of the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12).
Talking about what India will be fighting for at the WTO ministerial, he said, “S&DT is a fundamental principle that needs to be retained. Along with that we need to maintain the policy space that developing countries need… that India as a developing country needs.
The WTO Agreements contain “special and differential treatment” provisions which give developing countries special rights. Misra said the WTO stands for an open rules based multilateral trading system and there are advantages from such a system.
Therefore, it is in the interest of developing countries, like India to support a well functioning global trade institution like WTO, he said.
The MC12 will take place from November 30 to 3 December 3, 2021 in Geneva. Ministers from across the world, including India, will have the opportunity to review the functioning of the multilateral trading system, to deliver prepared statements and to take action on the future work of the WTO.
Kazakhstan was originally scheduled to host MC12 in June 2020 but the conference was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. RIS also launched its ‘World Trade and Development Report’ on the occasion.