Home Economic Indicator WTO struggles with reforms, prolongs digital tariff ban in Abu Dhabi session, lacking significant progress.

WTO struggles with reforms, prolongs digital tariff ban in Abu Dhabi session, lacking significant progress.

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WTO struggles with reforms, prolongs digital tariff ban in Abu Dhabi session, lacking significant progress.

WTO Negotiations in Abu Dhabi: A Recap

Challenges Faced at the Negotiations

World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiators faced a tough challenge in Abu Dhabi as they tried to make progress on major reforms. Despite talks extending overtime, a deadlock persisted, showcasing how national interests sometimes overshadow collective responsibilities.

Key Highlights from the Talks

After five days of intense negotiations, no breakthroughs were achieved on crucial topics like agriculture and fisheries. However, a two-year extension on the moratorium preventing tariffs on e-commerce data transmissions brought relief to businesses.

Disappointments and Blame Game

European Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis expressed disappointment over the lack of consensus on crucial issues like fisheries and agriculture. India, in particular, was singled out for hindering progress on these fronts.

India’s Stance and Outcome

India stood firm on its demand for a permanent fix on public holdings of agriculture stocks, a point of contention with some developed nations. Despite the lack of major breakthroughs, Indian Trade Minister Piyush Goyal remained satisfied with the outcome.

Global Dynamics and Disagreements

The negotiations highlighted disagreements among top economies, including those within the BRICS group. Fragmentation within this group, particularly between India and China, added complexity to the discussions.

Future Prospects and Reflections

While challenges loomed large during the negotiations, there is hope for future discussions on crucial topics like fisheries. The weak outcomes of the meeting underscore the need for a more constructive dialogue on the role of trade in society, emphasizing the importance of a strong multilateral trading system.

UAE’s Role and Multilateralism

The UAE’s efforts to emphasize multilateralism and dialogue were showcased during the negotiations. Despite the challenges faced, the country aims to play a more significant role in global discussions on trade and reforms.