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Text of Address by Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry of India at the Plenary Session of the 10th Ministerial Conference of the WTO on 16 December 2015

Dated:- 16-12-2015 - 1. It is an honor for me to participate in the Tenth Ministerial Conference of the WTO. I thank you, Madam Chairperson, the Government and the people of Kenya, for the excellent arrangements and the warm hospitality extended to me and my delegation. 2. This Ministerial coincides with the 20th anniversary of the organization and assumes special importance being the first WTO Ministerial taking place in Africa - a continent of promise. 3. I warmly welcome the newly acceded mem .....

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by this great institution. India applauds the achievements of the WTO, and remains committed to strengthening it further. 5. The 20th anniversary of the WTO is also an occasion for introspection and to assess where we are today. 6. We have come to Nairobi with an open mind, determined to make this Conference a success for us, for Africa and for the world. 7. However, Madam Chairperson, the situation could be more encouraging. The reform process which was started after the Uruguay Round in the fo .....

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Ministerial Declarations and Decisions taken since 2001 when we launched the Doha Round. These are all important. Let us not waste time negotiating which of these we should reaffirm and welcome. 9. We must respect our negotiating mandates and work within the established framework of the DDA and the tried and tested WTO principles. 10. It is our duty to safeguard the legitimate interests of poor farmers and the food security of hundreds of millions in developing countries. We cannot continue wit .....

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leave aside serious negotiations. 11. It is in recognition of these concerns that the G-33 has strongly argued the case for an effective special safeguard mechanism for developing countries and for changing the rules relating to public stockholding for food security purposes. These are not new issues. We are disappointed at the cavalier manner in which these issues are being pushed into the future. On the other hand, there is a sudden inexplicable zeal to harvest Export Competition. On this we .....

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extend duty-free quota-free access to all LDCs in line with the Hong Kong ministerial mandate. Our scheme provides comprehensive coverage, including tariff lines of interest to our friends in the Cotton-4. Moreover, our scheme is underpinned by simple, transparent and liberal rules of origin. India has recently made available substantial and commercially meaningful preferences in services to LDCs. 15. We are gathered here today in Africa, a land of opportunity and promise. There is no better pla .....

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