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Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Commerce & Industry
16-December-2015 17:56 IST
Text of statement by Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State(Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry in the open ended Agriculture meeting at the 10th Ministerial Conference of WTO on 16th December, 2015 at Nairobi, Kenya

We support a balanced outcome in Agriculture.

Export Competition:

• Export Competition is one of the pillars of agriculture negotiations. These negotiations are finely balanced on these three pillars. Taking out one pillar will disturb the balance.

• In the run up to Bali Ministerial the G-20, including India, had tabled a proposal on Export Competition. But there could not be a binding outcome since many of the members, including some of the members who are now proposing to harvest this pillar, raised the same issue of balance in agriculture negotiations.

• Now the efforts are to cherry pick issues from within the Export Competition pillar and further to dilute the provisions to suit a few members.

• At this late hour new definitions and language are being proposed. It is not possible to react to these new concepts without extensive domestic consultations.

• Further, these new concepts are being discussed in a limited group of members. This severely impacts the transparency of the process.

Special Safeguard Mechanism:

• The Special Safeguard Mechanism is important for developing countries to address import surges and price dips due to heavily subsidized imports of agricultural products from developed countries. All we are seeking now is an instrument that has been available to a select few for over two decades. This demand is reasonable and pragmatic.

• A simplified offer of the G-33 proposal on SSM has already been submitted. May I ask you Chair to speedily work on this.

• We expect the membership to engage constructively on the issue so that we can arrive at an outcome in Nairobi.

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