Alerts & Updates 4th Mar 2024

WTO Ministerial Conference 13 – 1st March 2024 – ROUND UP

Authors

Sanjay Notani Partner | Mumbai
Ambarish Sathianathan Partner | Mumbai
Shweta Kushe Associate | Mumbai

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  • Here are the highlights from the last day of the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi –

    The WTO Negotiations at the WTO hit a roadblock despite extensive talks through the night. India led discussions on public stockholding in agriculture, proposed solutions but failed to secure an agreement. The moratorium on e-commerce tariffs was extended, overcoming objections from some developing nations. Fisheries negotiations focused on curbing subsidies for industrial fishing showed promise but ended without consensus. Dispute settlement talks will continue into 2024. The US Trade Representative blamed the talks’ collapse on division among BRICS countries and suggested that progress on agriculture could unlock further agreements.

    Additionally, China’s push for an Investment Facilitation for Development (IFD) Agreement faced resistance, with India blocking its inclusion in the final outcomes’ document. Reports have also surfaced about inclusion of forced labour provisions in the Draft Fisheries Agreement, which was initially opposed by China and India. In another development, Thailand replaced its WTO Ambassador amid diplomatic tensions with India. The conclusion of MC13 proceedings was marked by a sombre tone, with a lingering hope for continued discussions and potential results in Geneva, if not in Abu Dhabi.

    Read the detailed update here