New Delhi: Commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu has called for collective action to revitalise the World Trade Organisation (WTO) without undermining its core principles of consensus building, inclusiveness and transparency, an official statement said Tuesday.
Prabhu stated this at the G-20 trade ministers meeting held at Mar del Plata, Argentina last week. He also emphasised that the global trade and economic situation currently was at a critical stage due to the ongoing trade tensions, driven by protectionist and unilateral measures by some countries.
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The minister make a case for working together for enhancing confidence in international trade through dialogue and collaborations. He has underlined that as developing and least developed countries suffer consequential collateral damage due to trade conflicts, resolution of differences through dialogue between the parties should be promoted.
Prabhu urged the G-20 members to change the narrative on trade by focusing on the potential of services. “Prabhu called for collective action for revitalising WTO without undermining its core principles of special and differential treatment, consensus building, inclusiveness and transparency," the commerce ministry’s statement said.
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Further, the Indian minister stated that there is the need to reduce non-tariff barriers that are more trade distorting than customs duties. “He urged G-20 to support transfer of technology, research, promote agri services and responsible investment in agri businesses with an aim to encouraging greater value addition for MSMEs," it said.
Prabhu also urged to work towards closing gaps in the digital divide within and across nations through capacity building measures, technology adaptation and meaningful investments. The deliberations of trade ministers of G-20 will feed into the G-20 Leaders Declaration which will be adopted at the G-20 Summit on 30 November – 1 December in Buenos Aires in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to participate, it added.
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The G-20 members include India, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, EU, France, Gemaany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, UK and the US.