"There are attempts to introduce elements into WTO which are not part of world trade": Piyush Goyal

Business Saturday 24/February/2024 08:10 AM
"There are attempts to introduce elements into WTO which are not part of world trade": Piyush Goyal

New Delhi: Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal alleged that there are attempts to include issues in the World Trade Organisation that are not part of world trade and stressed that India will try to ensure that the guiding principles of the WTO are maintained.

During an interaction at the Raisina Dialogue 2024, Goyal said that there are concerns about how it will operate; there is an attempt to even introduce elements into the WTO that are certainly not a part of world trade as such.

He stated that India is very much engaged with all the partner countries bilaterally in smaller groups and, of course, at the larger forum to ensure that the guiding principles on which the World Trade Organisation was formed, are respected, maintain, and continue to help us have an organised and free and fair trade across the world.

WTO Ministerial Conference 13 (MC13) will take place in Abu Dhabi from February 26-29 with ministers from across the world in attendance. They will review the functioning of the multilateral trading system and take action on the future work of the WTO.

The conference will be chaired by Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Trade. India will push to end a moratorium on customs duties on goods on e-commerce trade at the World Trade Organization's (WTO) 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) in Abu Dhabi later this month since such a leeway tends to benefit few developed nations.

This is a continuation of India's earlier position that a country should be free to levy duties given that developing countries are losing out around USD 10 million in revenues due to the moratorium on customs duties on digital goods. Out of 10 bn India is losing around half a billion USD.

Talking about India's role in the WTO, Goyal said, "Today we have zero trade dispute at WTO between India and United States. Earlier, US had seven trade disputes at the WTO. Over the years, we've been on many issues at the WTO. Over the last two years. We work relentlessly with the United States and have resolved our disputes."

Speaking on Free Trade Agreements, he said that there has never been a better business opportunity than what India offers today. He further said, "Sometimes trade negotiations take time when the other side takes time to understand what really is happening. India does not rush in trade agreements."

He said that India is slated to become the 3rd largest economy by 2027 and I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that over the next 25 years, our country will add 25 to USD 30 trillion to India's GDP.

"We believe that recent trends of inflation, which shows that inflation is fast moving downwards, about 5ish per cent now expected to be 4 per cent For the next fiscal, we do believe that the economy's really in good shape," he said.