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India WTO fisheries talks this week to bridge differences by Amiti Sen October 09,2019   |  Source: The Hindu Business Line

World Trade Organisation member countries will meet again this week in Geneva to take forward the discussions on curbing fisheries subsidies that has divided participants over its scope, coverage and exemptions and rendered the Negotiating Group on Rules headless for the past month.

“Some like India and China are insisting on flexibilities for all developing countries while others like the US and Australia have proposed that exemptions be granted only on the basis of low fish production volumes. India has to stay alert and staunchly defend the subsidies for its small and artisanal fishers given the fact that it has one of the largest volumes of fish stocks in the world,” an official familiar with the negotiations told BusinessLine. The meeting of the negotiating group on fisheries subsidies is scheduled on October 10.

The difference between members over the mechanism to cap subsidies is so deep that they have not yet been able to decide on the next chair for the Negotiating Group on Rules where discussions on curbing fisheries subsidies are carried out. The post has been vacant since September after the last chair, Mexico’s WTO ambassador Roberto Zapata Barradas, remitted office.

Since then all the proposed candidates have been opposed by some member or the other.

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