Disappointment, uncertainty after India blocks WTO trade deal
Published on Aug 1, 2014 11:25 AM
SYDNEY/GENEVA (Reuters) - Several member states of the World Trade Organisation voiced frustration after India's demands for concessions on agricultural stockpiling led to the collapse of the first major global trade reform pact in two decades.
WTO ministers had already agreed the global reform of customs procedures known as "trade facilitation" in Bali, Indonesia, last December, but were unable to overcome last minute Indian objections and get it into the WTO rule book by the July 31 deadline.
"We have not been able to find a solution that would allow us to bridge that gap," WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo told trade diplomats in Geneva, just two hours before the final deadline for a deal lapsed at midnight (2200 GMT Thursday; 6am Singapore time Friday).
Most diplomats had expected the pact to be rubber-stamped this week, marking a unique success in the WTO's 19-year history which according to some estimates would add $1 trillion and 21 million jobs to the world economy.
To continue reading, log in if you are a subscriber
Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!