Millennium Post

WTO row: Pak, Bangla Russia back India against US-led West

However, developed countries like UK, Germany, Finland, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden and the European Commission expressed concerns over non-implementation of the trade facilitation agreement (TFA).

India managed to garner ‘the support of countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Russia for India's standpoint,’ in Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) held on Thursday, an official statement said on Friday.
Finance Secretary Arvind Mayaram effectively put forth India's point of view on different issues in this forum and was successful in getting India's perspective included in the communique, it said.

India refused to ratify TFA in Geneva meet in late July till the WTO members found a permanent solution to the issue public stock holding of foodgrains for the food security programme.

India has asked WTO to amend the norms for calculating agriculture subsidies so that the
country could continue to procure foodgrains from farmers at minimum support price and sell them to poor at cheaper rates without violating the norms. The current WTO norms limit the value of food subsidies at 10 per cent of the total value of food grain production. However, the quantum of subsidy is computed after taking into consideration prices that prevailed two decades ago.

After protracted negotiations, ASEM agreed on not only droping a reference to non-implementation of TFA but also on including a reference to the need for implementation of all Bali decisions in the draft communique of Finance Ministers meeting of ASEM.

Likewise, India got inclusion of reference to BRICS and disappointment with poor progress on IMF quota reforms in the communique. During the deliberations, various contentious issues came up. The ASEM communique talks about enhanced cooperation between countries of Asia and Europe to create sustainable and profitable growth.
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