Bangladesh to join WTO meeting in New Delhi

Bangladesh has confirmed its participation in a World Trade Organization ministerial meeting of developing and least developed countries to be held here on May 13-14 in the backdrop of rising trade frictions across the world, the Indian Commerce Ministry said on Friday. Sixteen developing countries and six least developed countries including China, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Benin, Malawi, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey and Uganda and the Director General of WTO will be participating in the meeting, it said in a statement.

“Ministers from Bangladesh, Central African Republic and South Africa have confirmed their participation,” the statement added. The deliberations in New Delhi will aim at getting a direction on how to constructively engage on various issues in the WTO, both institutional and negotiating, in the run up to the 12th ministerial conference of the WTO to be held in Kazakhstan in June next year.

The two-day meeting will be interactive in order to provide an opportunity to the Ministers to discuss various issues and the way forward. On the first day, there will be a meeting of senior officers of the participating countries followed by the ministerial meeting on May 14. The meeting is being held at a time when the multilateral rule-based-trading system is facing grave challenges. In the recent past, there have been increasing unilateral measures and counter-measures by WTO members, deadlock in key areas of negotiations and the impasse in the WTO appellate body, which threaten the very existence of the dispute settlement mechanism of the WTO and impacts the position of the WTO as an effective multilateral organisation.

This New Delhi meeting is an effort to bring together the developing countries and Least Developed Countries on a platform for sharing common concerns on various issues affecting the WTO and work together to address these issues. The two-day meeting also provides an opportunity to developing countries and LDCs to build a consensus on how to move forward on the WTO reforms, while preserving the fundamentals of the multilateral trading system enshrined in the WTO.