Russia offered assistance in reaching a compromise on the Bali package


On December 4 during the 9th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization being held on the Indonesian island of Bali, the Minister of Economic Development Alexey Ulyukaev has a working meeting with the Minister of Commerce of Indian Anand Sharma.

- Russia is ready to assist in reaching a compromise on the issues of food security, said the head of the Russian authority during the discussion with his Indian counterpart of positions of some countries in this regard.

India says it wants to buy foods from its farmers in reserve at a fixed price. Several countries made ​​concessions to these requirements and invited India to buy such foods, provided that it does not further export such foods and limits it to the term for further action till the 11th Conference of the WTO, which will be held in four years.

"If the Bali package is adopted, India will receive better conditions to support its farmers than it has now. They are invited to have the opportunity to act as they want for four years, and then come back to this issue. We believe this is a compromise, but the matter is not resolved yet. This is bargaining, everyone is always trying to squeeze something for itself till the very last moment," said Alexey Ulyukaev.

Nevertheless, as was noted by the Minister of Commerce of India Anand Sharma, Delhi rejected the temporary offer. "This decision is final, he said. Agriculture is the source of life for millions of farmers living on the edge, whose interests must be protected.”

So-called Bali package contains trade facilitation, a set of documents on the limitation of export subsidies and support program for agriculture, as well as food security, in particular the restriction on procurement of goods for state needs.

Since WTO decisions are taken only under the consensus of all participants of the meeting, the delegations 130 countries that arrived on the island out of 159 members of the organization, have taken time to conduct informal consultations.