Minister for Commerce raises voice for protection of Pakistan’s farmers

Islamabad, December 15, 2015 (PPI-OT): Tenth WTO Ministerial Conference started on 15th December in Nairobi Kenya. WTO Ministerial Conference is the highest decision making body in WTO in which Ministers from Member countries participate. The Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastagir Khan attended three back to back meeting of G-33, G-20 and Cairns Group – the three biggest and most influential interest groups in Agriculture. The Minister made it clear during his interventions that Pakistan will not support any policy decision in Agriculture that hurts the interests of Pakistan.

Agriculture is of enormous value to Pakistan, which cannot be just measured in dollars terms, rather it’s the very foundation of our society. It’s a matter of national survival and security with 200 million population. Minister re-iterated his stance that food security is a matter of concern for Pakistan as well, but Pakistan considers it unjust that some countries endeavour to ensure their food security at the cost of others. The heavy subsidization on part of developed countries and misuse of some provisions of Agreement of Agriculture by some developing countries is already hurting the agriculture sector of small economies.

The Commerce Minister also participated in a Ministerial Panel on Trade Facilitation Agreement organized by UNCTAD. Pakistan has recently ratified by the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) which was widely appreciated by the member countries. The Minister said that TFA can act as an external stimulus to tackle public sector inefficiencies systematically.

The Minister met the Executive Director of International Trade Centre Ms. Arancha Gonzalez witnessed the signing of letter of intent between ITC and Ministry of Commerce, Pakistan. The opening session of the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference was addressed by the President of Kenya. The conference shall continue till 18th December, 2015.

The Minister also participated in the Consultative Meeting of the Islamic Development Bank of OIC member countries on the eve of WTO Ministerial. He said that for OIC member countries the road to influence WTO is through intra-OIC Trade Preferential System. He emphasized that intra-OIC trade and technical assistance should be enhanced in order to make any noticeable mark in international trade. He was of the view that WTO requires eternal vigilance, regardless of the pace and outcomes.

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