India, South Africa and Namibia hold talks at World Trade Organization (WTO) on E-commerce, investment

India, South Africa and Namibia hold talks at WTO on E-commerce, investment

Recently, India, South Africa and Namibia have opposed the ongoing talks in the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the issues of e-commerce, investment and MSMEs.

India, South Africa and Namibia have jointly opposed multilateral talks in the WTO on issues like e-commerce, investment facilitation, etc.

This multilateral dialogue is also being called the Joint Statement Initiative (JSI). Supporters of this dialogue are expressing hope for a concrete outcome at the 12th WTO ministerial conference (likely in June this year).

JSI is started by a group of WTO members. It is defined as a multilateral dialogue tool. It is to be noted that all major decisions in the WTO are taken largely by consensus.

However, decision-making under JSI emphasizes multilateral negotiations without following the rules of consensus.

India has refused to be a part of the JSI negotiations. India believes that members should first find a permanent solution to the issue of food subsidies. India has also said that the members of the WTO need to focus on issues only within its ambit.

All members of the WTO are required to abide by the fundamental rules of this multilateral body, as enshrined in the Marrakesh Agreement.

The Marrakesh agreement has raised concerns over the breaking of multilateral rules after the Tokyo round. The agreement was in favor of developing an integrated, more viable and sustainable multilateral trading system.

The World Trade Organization was established on January 1, 1995, following the Marrakesh Agreement.

The Tokyo Round of negotiations of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATI) in 1979 gave birth to multilateral codes.

Source – The Hindu

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