A mini-ministerial meeting of WTO members from
both rich and developing nations to be called by India will seek to
"revitalise" the multi-lateral trade body after the deadlock at the
ministerial meeting held at Buneos Aires last month, Commerce Minister Suresh
A mini-ministerial meeting of trade ministers of
some developed and developing countries is proposed to be hosted by India in
"The objective of the meeting is to discuss
ways to revitalize the WTO, which, is the best available multilateral
institution to ensure predictable and transparent system of rule-making in the
area of international trade," Prabhu said.
About 40 WTO member countries are expected to
participate in the meeting, which is taking place after collapse of the ministerial
talks held in Buenos Aires in early December.
The meeting would be in the backdrop of rich
nations forming groupings to prepare ground for pushing new issues such as
investment facilitation, preparing rules for e- commerce, promoting gender equality
and reducing subsidy on fisheries.
India has been keenly pushing agriculture issues
at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). It has also been raising its voice
against bringing new issues, especially those which are not directly linked to
trade, on the negotiating table.
The talks at the WTO's 11th ministerial
conference collapsed after the US went back on its commitment to find a
permanent solution to the public food stockholding issue, a key matter for
India. The four-day conference in Argentina, which ended without a ministerial
declaration or any substantive outcome, did manage to make some feeble progress
on fisheries and e- commerce by agreeing to work program.
Director General Roberto Azevedo expressed disappointment over the way the
negotiations progressed and called for soul-searching among the member