SME Times News Bureau | 14 May, 2019
Industry body FICCI has urged the Government to use the mini-ministerial
platform for creating alliances and consolidating support
among member-countries to revitalize the multilateral trading system.
"It will help in effectively countering
attempts by some countries to dilute the importance of multilateralism and
weaken the WTO," said Sandip Somany, President, FICCI.
the initiative of convening the mini-ministerial meeting, Mr. Somany observed, "We at
FICCI feel this is a much-needed step as WTO has been under severe stress in
recent times amid rising trade tensions and questions are raised over the
relevance of the institution".
In a letter sent to the Ministry of Commerce &
Industry, FICCI said that it would like the Special and Differential Treatment (S&DT)
to continue at WTO for all developing and least developed members, because
S&DT provisions are an integral part of multilateral trade rules.
of the wide diversity in the level of development among WTO membership, there
is need for sufficient flexibilities, it added.
to cite one specific instance, India still has over 360 million poor and as of
it had 73 million people in extreme poverty. So, we just cannot wish away the
continued need for S&DT provisions for developing economies like
India," Somany pointed
to the issue of WTO reform Somany
said, "Any dynamic institution needs to periodically undertake reforms.
WTO disciplines and rulebook too need to be updated so that they stay relevant
and are better-equipped to handle new and emerging trade issues of the 21st
"Reform or modernization of the WTO should be
approached in a balanced manner involving all sections of the WTO-membership
and taking their interests as well as concerns into account," he added.
The practice of decision-making by Consensus should
continue in WTO. While it may be useful to bring in select 'New Issues' in the
agenda, it should not be done by replacing all the old issues (many of
the old issues are long-standing and critical for developing countries),