India to take up food security issue with WTO

India to take up food security issue with WTO

India will ensure that its proposal for TFA in services sector gathers momentum.

The Dollar Business Bureau

A senior trade delegation from the Indian Ministry of Commerce will soon visit Geneva to hold talks with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to negotiate and find the solution on food security.

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman underscored that the delegation will ensure that India's proposal for trade facilitation agreement (TFA) in services sector gathers momentum.

Earlier, Sitharaman and WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo held a meeting during which the two brought out the food security issues. The Indian Commerce Minister underlined that the delegation will highlight both food security and services issues with the WTO.

"The team which will be going to Geneva will also see that TFA in services is taken at various stages so that it becomes part of the Argentina ministerial meeting," Sitharaman told reporters.

Sitharaman said India wants to find a permanent solution on food security to be completed before the ministerial level meeting in Argentina in December.

Sitharaman also pressed for regular such meetings to negotiate this important issue. "This year, I want to see discussions happening in Geneva on this. We have already done enough groundwork on this. We cannot start discussions from scratch," she added.

The issue will be raised during the discussion at the WTO's committee on agriculture in Geneva later this year. India is looking to find the solution till December-end.

During her meeting with Azevedo, Sitharaman also raised India's concerns in the areas of e-commerce, fisheries, investments and special safeguard mechanism.

India is highlighting its case for TFA in services in accordance with a similar agreement in goods inked by WTO in 2014, as it looks to expedite movement, clearance and release of goods and also on co-operation on Customs compliance.