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New Delhi (AFP) – A senior official of the Indian Ministry of Commerce told AFP that the draft text to ban WTO subsidies was weak, unbalanced and favored mainly by rich countries.
The revised draft text, submitted on November 8, will be discussed at the Ministerial Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, from November 30 to December 3.
But an Indian Commerce Ministry official told the AFP on Friday, anonymously, that the text was “weak, unbalanced and favorable to advanced fishing countries.”
“It doesn’t change anything for the big fishing countries,” he added.
India supports the idea of a WTO agreement on fisheries subsidies, but noted that there are still ongoing negotiations to address the concerns of developing countries.
The Indian government has previously said that “major financiers” such as the United States, Japan, South Korea, China and the European Union should “take more responsibility for reducing their subsidies and reducing their fishing capacity.”
“Any agreement should recognize that countries are at different stages of development and that current fisheries agreements reflect their current economic capabilities,” Indian Trade Minister Piyush Goyal told the WTO meeting in July.
The WTO has been discussing fisheries for two decades.
According to the World Trade Organization, global fishing subsidies range from $ 14 billion to $ 54 billion a year.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director of the organization, which took office in March, has made it a priority to complete the fishing contract by the end of this year.
© 2021 AFP
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