South Africa and India Publicly Refused Major Investment Deal at WTO

At a World Trade Organization summit in Abu Dhabi, India, and South Africa publicly refused a major investment deal, preventing its acceptance in a move that observers believe might prevent hundreds of billions of dollars in investment.

South Africa and India Publicly Refused Major Investment Deal

South Africa and India Publicly Refused Major Investment Deal at WTO

The deal, which was reached by 125 nations, or over 75% of the WTO’s members, intends to reduce bureaucracy, enhance the investment climate, and promote foreign direct investment.  However, any of the 164 members of the WTO have the authority to prevent a contract from being approved by the organization, which is a requirement to guarantee that nations are complying.

A WTO paper stated, “We underscore that given the lack of exclusive consensus, this is not a matter for the … [meeting] agenda.” The delegations from South Africa and India refrained from publicly commenting on the development right away.

India and South Africa Were Criticized for Opposing a Deal With Significant Benefits

The world’s poorest countries would be most impacted by this “deplorable” trend, according to Alan Yanovich, a partner at Akin Gump Strauss. He stated, “The notion that two members can prevent a broad group of willing members from moving forward is absurd.”

It was described as “ironic that India and South Africa stand in the way of something with such manifest benefits for developing countries” by a Western trade envoy during the negotiations.

One study estimates that the Investment Facilitation for Development (IFD) Agreement, spearheaded by South Korea and Chile with China’s strong backing, may boost world welfare to the tune of US$200 billion to US$800 billion.

US Trade Representative Recently Disregarded a Deal to Modify the WTO Dispute Settlement

Barring the formal admission of two new members to the body, East Timor and Comoros, negotiators indicated that not much progress has been made thus far during the four days of WTO discussions to establish new international trade regulations on a wide variety of subjects, including agriculture and fishing. The meetings are scheduled to conclude on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the US Trade Representative disregarded a deal to modify the WTO dispute settlement system, which has been hampered for four years by US opposition.

Todd McClay, the trade minister for New Zealand, finally stated, “These are not small, easy to deal with issues, these are some of the big things that either distort trade or stop nations from being able to feed their own people.”



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