WTO reforms coming up

World Trade organization (WTO) is holding a virtual meet of key members of the organisation. Director-General of World Trade Organization (WTO) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will also be present at this meet. Aftermath for COVID-19 pandemic, proposed pact on fisheries subsidies and reform measures are some key issues of the deliberation. Another reason for the meet to hold significance is deferment of the 12th ministerial conference, the highest decision making body of the WTO, for an indefinite period for the second time due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Switzerland has called the meeting at the side-lines of World Economic Forum summit in Davos.

In order to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, India and South Africa insists on the decision for their proposal for a temporary waiver of certain provisions of TRIPs (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement, after their first and second attempt in 2020 and 2021 respectively for the initial and amended proposal for the waver. In case of fishery subsidies, India wants an equitable and balanced outcome as the country provides support to its small and marginal fishermen which is a conflicting take with the developed countries, who are pushing for prohibitions of these subsidies.

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