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WTO must end its business

By farjana - Posted on 04 December 2013

WTO must end its business

Farjana Akter, VOICE

Since its inception of the World Trade Organizations (WTO) in 1995, policies made by the multilateral giant blocked the access of developing countries to international markets. WTO, the promoter of `globalization' introduces injustice and undermines human rights through it's biased policies and regulations. In the ninth ministerial conference taking place in Bali from 3 -6 December 2013, WTO should give back Least Developed Countries (LDCs) rights and listen to their legal demands. LDCs has been struggling to get Quota-Free and Duty Free market access to intrenational markets, subsidy in agriculture since long.

 The empty promise of Agreement of Agriculture (AoA) needs to be readdressed, meanwhile, it has worsened the conditions of the millions subsistence farmers and small-scale food producers in the developing countries, while giving scope to corporations to accumulate more profit.

 The institution needs to uncover the discriminatory rules and regulations for developing countries with a strong reform within it. Developing countries are demanding for ensuring simple and transparent rules of origin for duty-free market access, it asks for preferential market access for their services sector.

 However, imbalance approach in trade and investment needs to bring in light under the Trade Facilitation discussion. As it has been observed that the discussion of trade facilitation includes transit and energy issue, it will lead mainly to facilitation of imports by the countries that upgrade their facilities under the proposed agreement, country having weaker export capacity would have negative impact on their trade balance by the new obligation, liberalization in an imbalance framework. Developing countries would require different type of facilitation, improvement of their supply capacity and access to developed countries' markets. As an LDC, Bangladesh may seek free movement of labour under the mode-4, section of WTO, however it depends getting support from LDCs due to difference of interest. 

 WTO should play significant role in taxation issue. Tax avoidance and tax heaven by multi-national corporations and shell companies operating in many developing countries are major issues to look into while WTO is the only international institution that deals with tax matters but  it has failed to address the issue properly which caused illicit financial flows that deprived of  billions of dollars to the developing countries.

 9th Ministerial conference of WTO is for `back in track' with neoliberal agenda that undermines justice and human rights at large while social movement groups, civil societies, communities, and people are protesting to end its business. WTO must end its business for corporations that already created food, environment, power, energy and economic crisis in the world.