Positive outcome for Pakistani agriculture at WTO

ISLAMABAD: Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan said on Monday that Pakistan has obtained positive results for its farmers through vigilant presence, vigorous participation and clear articulation, at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.

In a statement, the minister said that Pakistan’s agriculture exports would have a level playing field as WTO has eliminated agriculture export subsidies by developed countries and put more restrictions on developing-country competitors.

He said Nairobi decisions have levelled the playing field for Pakistan’s agriculture exports and have improved prospects of prosperity for our farmers.

In cooperation with numerous allies, Pakistan also successfully resisted a move by some large developing countries, which could have led permanently to Pakistan’s agriculture trade injury through the said countries’ subsidised export of public stocks amassed in name of food security, he added.

The ministerial is WTO’s highest decision-making body and meets every two years. This was its tenth meeting and the first to be held on African soil, he remarked.

Export subsidies of developed countries like Australia, Canada, EU, Iceland, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and USA shall be eliminated immediately.

Developing countries’ entitlement to give export subsidies including Uruguay, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Cyprus, Indonesia, Mexico, Panama, South Africa and Turkey, shall be eliminated by 2018.

The commerce minister said, “Through logical and legally-sound advocacy of Pakistan’s agricultural interests, we resisted efforts by some large developing countries to prematurely amend WTO Agriculture Agreements in name of food security, which would allow them to distort trade in their favour by exporting public food stocks at subsidized prices. Pakistan also took the lead in welcoming formally Afghanistan’s accession to WTO.”

The minister commended the high-level of preparation and teamwork of the Pakistan delegation that assisted him at WTO meeting.


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