Thursday, July 11, 2024
HomeBUSINESS ECONOMYTrade Confab: FG tasks developing countries on improving food production

Trade Confab: FG tasks developing countries on improving food production

AS a fallout from the 12th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference, the Federal Government has called on countries with emerging economies to adopt measures that would address difficulties they face in food production and enhancing livelihoods.

In a statement in Abuja, the Minister of State,  Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum, stated that this can be achieved through provisions that will foster economic recovery and a resilient health sector.

The statement, signed by the director of information in the ministry, Mrs Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa noted that Katagum spoke at the 12th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC 12) held in Geneva, Switzerland.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the minister of state, who led the Nigerian delegation, urged Ministers of Trade to develop an institutional framework that would foster discussions toward the delivery of outcomes that would address the needs of member states.

She reiterated Nigeria’s position on agricultural trade reform, with respect to the key areas of domestic support, market access, public stock holding for food security (PSH).

Katagum said: “Discussions on WTO reform needs to adhere to the principles of transparency, inclusiveness, fairness and equity within the balance of the rights and obligations of all members under the covered agreements.

“Member states should ensure that any future discussions on reform should focus on reaffirming and strengthening the multilateral character of the WTO.

“As part of the Conference’s outcome documents, ten Ministerial Decisions and Declarations were adopted by the Trade Ministers.

Katagum said history was made at the WTO Ministerial Conference with the adoption of the 20 years outstanding agreement on fisheries subsidies.

She said: “Other decisions and declarations adopted at ministerial conference included Ministerial Decision on the TRIPS Agreement, Ministerial Declaration on the Emergency waiver response to food insecurity.

“It includes the Ministerial Decision on World Food Programme, Food purchases Exemption from Export Prohibitions or Restrictions, Ministerial Declaration on the WTO response to the COVID-19 pandemic and preparedness for future pandemics.“

According to her, it took decision on work programme on electronic commerce, e-commerce moratorium, Decisions on TRIPS Non-violation and situation complaints, GC Declaration on Sanitary and Phyto Sanitary and  Ministerial Decision on the work programme for Small Economies.

On Fisheries Subsides Agreement, she said MC 12 agreed that no member shall grant or maintain any subsidy to a vessel or operator engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing or fishing related activities in support of fishing.

On Emergency response to food insecurity, Katagum  said that the ministerial conference agreed that trade and domestic production played a vital role in improving global food security in all dimensions as well as enhancing nutrition

She said that the conference would also commit to take concrete steps to facilitating trade and improve the functioning and long term resilience of global market for food and agriculture, including cereals, fertilizers and other agricultural production inputs.

According to Katagum, particular consideration will be given to the specific needs and circumstances of developing countries.

This is the first conference since the appointment of Okonjo-Iweala as the the WTO Director-General, and the minister of state commended her on the way the sessions were structured to provide members with constructive engagements,  adoptions and decisions on identified priority areas.

The Ministers Conference is the topmost decision making body of WTO, it holds every two years and it brings together all members of the WTO to decide on all matters under any of the multilateral trade agreements.

Kazakhstan was originally billed to host the MC12 in June 2020, but the conference was postponed because of COVID-19 pandemic.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -
Google search engine

Most Popular

Recent Comments