Bali Meet : Trade facilitation pact will cut costs

Highlights: 

  • According to the WTO, the Bali Package would enhance the abilities of the developing countries to integrate into the world economy.
  • The first decision, and clearly the most important for India, was a clarification on the Bali decision on Public Stockholding for Food Security Purposes - to unequivocally state that the peace agreement would remain in force until a permanent solution is found.
  • The second decision was to formally add the Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility to the WTO rulebook, clearing the path for the Trade Facilitation Agreement agreed upon in Bali and its implementation.
  • WTO Members are now working to ratify the agreement according to their domestic procedures.
  • The WTO DG noted that the benefits of the TFA would be visible to Indian industry as competitiveness and exports will receive a boost once members ratify the agreement.
  • The TFA would bring down trade costs by 15 % and bolster south-south trade.
  • The remaining issues under the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) would need to be refocused before the Ministerial Conference in Nigeria at the end of the year.
  • The WTO provided developing and least-developed countries a seat in the rule-making table as they were not included in the current regional and mega-regional trade agreements.
  • Over the past two decades, the WTO has contributed towards the stability and predictability of the world trading system.
  • Since 1995, the WTO has welcomed 33 new members, including large economies such as China and Russia, and its 160 members represent 98 % of world trade.
  • It has addressed some 500 trade disputes between members while keeping protectionist measures at bay.
  • Presently, World Trade Organisation's (WTO) Director General is Roberto Azevedo.