WTO failure to cost global economy $820 billion

Tags: News
The failure to ink the WTO's trade facilitation agreement (TFA) may cost the global economy USD 820 billion and 16 million in terms of new jobs.

"...We have to be aware of the opportunity cost (involved in the WTO's Bali agreement)...The estimate is that the Bali agreement could add USD 820 billion to the global GDP and 16 million jobs," Australian B20 Sherpa Robert Milliner said.

The B20 leads engagement with G20 governments on behalf of the international business community.

He is here for the preparatory meeting of the G20 summit to be held in Brisbane in November.

The TFA was not ratified by the WTO members on July 31 because of the tough stand being taken by India. India was insisting that TFA should be delivered as a single undertaking along with the permanent solution for public food stockholding issue and matters of least developed countries.

Milliner also said that as per the OECD estimates, implementation of all measures currently being negotiated in the World Trade Organization's Doha Development Round would reduce total trade costs by 10 per cent in advanced economies and by about 15 per cent in developing countries.

Talking about the implications of the failed Geneva talks, Australia's G20 Sherpa Heather Smith said number of countries have expressed disappointment over the failure of the negotiations.

"After many years, we have an agreement with in the WTO. It has an impact on confidence in terms of the strength of the global institutions being able to deliver outcomes...India is committed to looking at measures which can facilitate trade... we have see what happens over the next few months," Smith said.

She said that there is a positive relationship between growth and poverty reduction.

Enhanced trade and investments global would help in reducing poverty and creating employment, she added.

India had decided not to ratify WTO's TFA, which is dear to the developed world, without any concrete movement in finding a permanent solution to its public food stock-holding issue for food security purposes.

It has asked WTO to amend the norms for calculating agri subsidies in order to procure foodgrains from farmers at minimum support price and sell that to poor at cheaper rates without attracting any penalty in the WTO.

The current WTO norms limit the value of food subsidies at 10 per cent of the total value of foodgrain production. However, the support is calculated at the prices that are over two decades old.

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