WTO

PTI: India has made substantial offers like waiving off visa fees, granting market access and technical assistance to service providers from poor nations, showing its resolve to support the Least Developing Countries.
The offers were made at a high-level WTO meeting here convened to indicate proposals from developed and developing countries for preferential treatment to service providers from the Least Developing Countries (LDCs).

The revised WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) will come into force on 6 April 2014, effectively two years from the date on which the Protocol amending the Agreement was adopted in March 2012. The Chairman of the WTO Committee on Government Procurement, Bruce Christie of Canada, confirmed that the threshold of acceptances by two-thirds of the Parties, which is required for the revised Agreement to come into force, had been met, with Israel accepting the Protocol on 7 March.

For the first time since the WTO started monitoring the protectionist reaction to the financial crisis in 2008, the scale of trade restrictions is a cause for “serious concern”, Director-General Pascal Lamy told an informal meeting of heads of delegations to the WTO on 7 June 2012. He also reported on latest developments in the Doha Round negotiations. This is what he said:

Supporting India’s tough stand at WTO on the food security issue, UN body for development of agriculture IFAD has said ensuring food for its people is more important than creating jobs in certain other nations.

“Creating jobs for some other country, while people are still hungry, doesn’t make sense... If I was in the position of feeding my own family or creating jobs for someone else, what would I do? What would you do?,” International Fund for Agriculture Development President Kanayo Nwanze told the news agency PTI.

WTO appears to have upheld a complaint against the Province of Ontario’s green energy program.

The complaint was made by the EU and Japan, which claim the province's "feed-in tariff" program for its energy grid discriminates against foreign component manufacturers by declaring a minimum percentage of renewable energy goods and services be provided by Ontario-based companies.

The next head of the World Trade Organization will certainly come from somewhere other than Europe, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said .

Pascal Lamy, a French national who has served two four-year terms as WTO director general, is to step down on August 31, and when his successor is chosen, "obviously this time, it will not be someone from Europe," De Gucht told a press conference after meeting with Lamy in Geneva.

The EU commissioner said the next WTO head would have to be "a highly qualified man or woman fully aware of the global task of director general."

The United States will challengeThailand over its rice subsidies at a World Trade Organization committee meeting next week, fearful that a government-sponsored crop could land up on the world market and depress prices, hurting U.S. exporters.

Thailand's purchases of rice at high prices are expected to raise output but they have also been blamed for a slump in rice exports, threatening to dethrone Thailand as the top exporter in favour of India or Vietnam.


China initiated World Trade Organization proceedings to seek a ruling on whether some European Union nations violated global commerce rules through their green energy programs.

China has begun WTO dispute settlement procedures after it accused some EU countries of providing subsidies for power generated by solar plants outfitted mainly with components made in EU countries or the European Economic Zone, Shen Danyang, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce, said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website.