WTO Ministerial Meeting of Developing Countries in New Delhi
A WTO Ministerial meeting of developing countries is being hosted by India in New Delhi on 13-14 May 2019.
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- Sixteen developing countries, Six Least Developed Countries (LDC) (Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Brazil, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, China, Egypt, Guatemala, Guyana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Uganda) and DG, WTO are participating in the meeting.
- The two-day meeting will be interactive in order to provide an opportunity to the Ministers to discuss various issues and the way forward. On the first day, there will be a meeting of senior officers of the participating countries followed by a dinner hosted by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry for the heads of delegations. On the 2ndday, the Ministerial Meeting will be held.
- The meeting is being held at a time when the multilateral rule-based-trading system is facing serious and grave challenges. In the recent past, there have been increasing unilateral measures and counter measures by members, deadlock in key areas of negotiations and the impasse in the Appellate Body, which threaten the very existence of Dispute Settlement Mechanism of the WTO and impacts the position of the WTO as an effective multilateral organisation. The current situation has given rise to demands from various quarters to reform the WTO.
- This meeting at New Delhi is an effort to bring together the developing countries and Least Developed Countries on a platform for sharing common concerns on various issues affecting the WTO and work together to address these issues.
- The two-day meeting also provides an opportunity to the developing countries and LDCs to build consensus on how to move forward on the WTO reforms, while preserving the fundamentals of the multilateral trading system enshrined in the WTO.
- The deliberations will aim at getting a direction on how to constructively engage on various issues in the WTO, both institutional and negotiating, in the run up to the Twelfth Ministerial Conference of the WTO to be held in Kazakhstan in June 2020.
20th Conference of Regional Heads of Customs Administration (RHCA) of Asia Pacific Region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO)
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) had organised a Conference of the Regional Heads of Customs Administration of Asia Pacific Region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) in Kochi from 08th to 10th May, 2019.
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- India hosted this Conference in its capacity as Vice-Chair of the Asia Pacific Region of WCO which it assumed on 1stJuly, 2018 for a two-year period.
- The Conference took stock of the progress made in carrying forward the programmes and initiatives of WCO to promote, facilitate and secure cross-border trade in the Region and the capacity building and technical assistance required by Member Administrations to achieve these goals.
- This 3-day Conference was chaired by Mr. Pranab Kumar Das, Chairman, CBIC. Customs delegations from more than twenty countries of the Asia Pacific Region participated in the Conference along with senior officials of the WCO and its Regional Bodies, the Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) and Regional Intelligence Liaoning Office (RILO).
- In addition to the discussions on the strategic priorities of the Asia Pacific Region, the Conference also deliberated on the work programs of the Vice-Chair, ROCB & RILO, security related issues, trade facilitation, e-commerce, performance measurement, trusted trader programmes and emerging technological and logistical challenges in the fields of trade facilitation and Customs Administrations. The Conference also facilitated Bilateral Meetings between the Member States.
- Recognising the importance of the collaborative approach between Customs and trade, a Trade Day was organised on 7thMay, 2019 as a precursor to the Conference of the Regional Heads of Customs. In the daylong deliberations, representatives from trade & industry and think-tanks shared their insights and experiences that are expected to shape the thinking of customs administrations of the region in adopting policies and measures to promote trade facilitation and secure global trade, and promote ethical leadership.
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