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World Has To Decouple Trade Policy, Green Goals: Goyal At UN Trade Forum 2021

WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said the member countries have agreed for text-based negotiations of the proposal of India and South Africa for temporary TRIPS waiver to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo Credit : Bloomberg

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Hoping that the developed countries will not use the inter-play of trade and climate challenge 'too much', Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday said the world should decouple trade policy and its green goals.

He also hoped that credit rating agencies and bodies like the IMF 'which kind of dictate' the financial architecture of the world do not land up being unfairly harsh on the developing and less-developed countries as this is a time to become compassionate, more liberal and supportive to these nations.

'I think a little longer rope needs to be given even to earlier agreements or earlier commitments so that these countries (developing and less developed) have space to bring their economies back on track,' Goyal said at the UN Trade Forum 2021.

Let the trade policy look for more inclusive growth all over the world and all the countries need to work towards climate justice and sustainable lifestyle.

'We do hope that the developed world will not use the inter-play of trade and climate challenge too much because I think trade should allow all countries to prosper.

'It should not create trade barriers which will ultimately become a hindrance to taking prosperity to the poorer, lesser developed countries,' he said.

Goyal added: 'I do believe that we have to decouple trade policy and our green goals'.

Rather, he said, the UN and the other multilateral agencies like the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) should focus on getting the world together to fulfil their commitments around climate change.

The minister added that there should be differentiated responsibilities when it comes to the developing world or the less-developed countries, as they have to fulfil their commitments which they made in Paris particularly relating to capital, and technology.

Further, Goyal said the world should learn lesson from the 2008 economic crisis and the developed world should not land up in 'over adventurism' in terms of fiscal proliferation.

Talking about healthcare, he said that under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, 500 million people have access to medical facilities free of charge and 'we are going to expand it to 100 per cent coverage so that every citizen in India and every resident gets access to healthcare'.

The government is investing in upgrading healthcare facilities and expanding them, he added.

About the forthcoming meeting of the World Trade Organization's (WTO) 12th ministerial conference in Geneva, Goyal said the members cannot prioritise only the agenda of the developed world. It has to address issues that have been long pending such as the asymmetry in agri subsidies and finding a permanent solution to the issue of public stockholding for food security purposes, he added.

WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said the member countries have agreed for text-based negotiations of the proposal of India and South Africa for temporary TRIPS waiver to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

'Now, we have revised text from proponents India and South Africa which is supported by the vast majority of developing countries.

'It is going to be tough because still there are differences. We hope we can get a pragmatic approach. I am not in a hurry... I want to get some agreement by July because lives are involved,' she said. 

(PTI)