Islamabad, December 21, 2015 (PPI-OT): Pakistan’s agriculture exports will have a level playing field as WTO has eliminated immediately agriculture export subsidies by developed countries and put more restrictions on our developing-country competitors.
“Pakistan has obtained positive results for its farmers at World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Meeting in Kenya through vigilant presence, vigorous participation and clear articulation. Nairobi decisions have levelled the playing field for Pakistan’s agriculture exports and have improved prospects of prosperity for our farmers. In cooperation with numerous allies, Pakistan also successfully resisted a move by some large developing countries, which could have led permanently to Pakistan’s agriculture trade injury through the said countries’ subsidized export of public stocks amassed in name of food security.”
This was stated by Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan upon his return from the Kenyan capital Nairobi, where he led Pakistan’s delegation to the WTO moot. The Ministerial is WTO’s highest decision-making body and meets every two years. This was its tenth meeting and the first to be held on African soil.
Export subsidies of developed countries e.g., Australia, Canada, EU, Iceland, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and USA shall be eliminated immediately. Developing countries’ entitlement to give export subsidies e.g., Uruguay, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Cyprus, Indonesia, Mexico, Panama, South Africa and Turkey, shall be eliminated by 2018.
Commerce Minister said that “Through logical and legally-sound advocacy of Pakistan’s agricultural interests, we resisted efforts by some large developing countries to prematurely amend WTO Agriculture Agreements in name of food security, which would allow them to distort trade in their favor by exporting public food stocks at subsidized prices. Pakistan also took the lead in welcoming formally Afghanistan’s accession to WTO.”
The Minister commended the high-level of preparation and teamwork of the Pakistan delegation that assisted him at WTO meeting. Senior members of the delegation were Pak WTO Ambassador Dr. Tauqir Shah, Pak High Commissioner to Kenya Raza Tarar, and Additional Secretary National Food Security Dr. Hashim Popalzai. Officials from Pak WTO Mission at Geneva, WTO section of Ministry of Commerce, and the Pak High Commission at Nairobi contributed.
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