WTO CHIEF SEES FISHERIES SUBSIDIES DEAL RATIFIED BEFORE YEAR’S END

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WTO CHIEF SEES FISHERIES SUBSIDIES DEAL RATIFIED BEFORE YEAR’S END – The  fisheries agreement aims to remove $22 billion in subsidies 

The World Trade Organization’s director-general, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said she was hopeful a fisheries subsidies agreement would be ratified this year by the required number of members, despite the disappointment of not finalising the deal at a recently concluded ministerial conference.

Environmentalists say knocking out billions of dollars in subsidies that promote unsustainable fishing is the single most important thing countries can do to help reverse declining stocks.

The fisheries agreement, aimed at removing $22 billion in subsidies supporting illegal fishing, has seen significant support from member countries.

So far, 71 WTO members have formally accepted the agreement and 39 more formal acceptances are needed to reach the two-thirds of the membership threshold for it to come into effect.

Okonjo-Iweala addressed concerns raised by India and South Africa about the proposed Investment Facilitation for Development (IFD) Agreement, which seeks to cut red tape, improve investment climate and encourage foreign direct investment.

India and South Africa have asked that further discussions should continue at the WTO General Council in Geneva.

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