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WTO Ministerial Meeting Begins Amid Questions On Food Security, Other Issues

“Amid looming uncertainty, trade ministers and officials from 159 countries Tuesday began formal negotiations at the [World Trade Organization (WTO)] ministerial meeting [in Bali] in a bid to reach consensus on issues such as food security and trade facilitation,” Zee News reports. “India, which is an important member of the G33 grouping, is demanding amendments in the [WTO] draft on agriculture to ensure its food security program doesn’t attract penalties if subsidy limits are breached,” the news service notes (12/3). Ministers are aiming “to give a shot at revival of the 12-year old Doha Round of global trade talks,” the Financial Express adds (12/3). “Failure to agree on a pact, which supporters estimate could boost the world economy by as much as $1 trillion, will call into question the effectiveness of the WTO and may mean the end of the Doha process, [WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo] said,” Bloomberg reports (Chatterjee, 12/3).