Saturday, December 7, 2013

Historic trade deal at WTO summit - Bali

Indonesian trade minister Gita Wiryawan, right, shakes hands with World Trade Organisation 
director general Roberto Azevedo during the closing ceremony in Bali. (AP/Firdia Lisnawati)

Indonesia's dream tourists place Bali was the host to a historic deal to boost global trade, approved by the World Trade Organisation's 159 member economies for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Overwhelmed by the deal, WTO director general Roberto Azevedo shed tears during the summit's closing ceremony as he thanked host nation Indonesia, WTO member countries and his wife.

"We have put the world back into the World Trade Organisation," he said. "For the first time in our history, the WTO has truly delivered."

The talks were threatened at the 11th hour when Cuba objected to removal of a reference to the decades-long US trade embargo that Cuba wants lifted.

Besides, India had also been an obstacle because of its vociferous objections to provisions that might endanger grain subsidies aimed at ensuring its poor get enough to eat.

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