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India to Host Meeting of 30-40 WTO Members in February

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.

PTI

Updated:December 18, 2017, 11:38 PM IST
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India to Host Meeting of 30-40 WTO Members in February
Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu attended the meeting of all the trade ministers of 16 countries in Cambodia. (File Photo)

New Delhi: Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday said India will host a meeting of about 40 WTO members in February to muster support for food security and other issues.

"We are trying to call a meeting of almost 30-40 countries (WTO ministerial) in Delhi in February just to help multi-lateral process," Prabhu said here at an event organised by Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC).

He, however, did not give details of the meeting. The proposed meeting would be in the the backdrop of developed nations forming groupings to prepare ground for pushing investment facilitation, preparing rules for e- commerce, promoting gender equality and reducing subsidy on fisheries with a view to curbing illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

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.

On Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with European Union, Prabhu said, he had meeting with the EU minister to discuss various issues.

"When we talk of FTA there is always trade-offs...as a country we have to find how trade-off can benefit us," he said.

EU is great market for India for garments, which is employment generating sector, the minister said, adding that the government is preparing a standard operating procedure for any new FTA to be entered.

Besides EU, he said, India is also in discussion with Canada and Australia for the FTA.

Speaking at the same event, Textile Minister Smriti Irani said the department will do a lot in the coming year for the sector.

She said skilling is another focus for the government and assured all support to garment manufacturer.

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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