Thailand Softens Stance on Rice Dispute, Replaces WTO Envoy


India objects to Thai WTO remarks on subsidized rice…reports Asian Lite News

Thailand has replaced its Ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Pimchanok Vonkorpon Pitfield, after strong objections by India to her remarks on New Delhi’s rice procurement programme.

As per sources, India lodged a protest over remarks by the Thai envoy to WTO where she accused India of using subsidised rice procured for public distribution systems to capture the export market.

“The Thai Ambassador has been replaced. She has ridiculed India’s public stockholding programme,” according to the source.

It has been also been learnt that Pitfield will be replaced by Thailand’s Foreign Secretary.

India has been seeking a solution to the issue of subsidy caps, calculated on prices fixed at the 1986-88 level, as it has breached the ceiling of 10 per cent of the value of production as the permitted level of support for procurement for its food programme.

As per the source, the facts of the Thai envoy to WTO were incorrect as she accused New Delhi of exporting 40 per cent of the rice procured for PDS.

Ministers and delegates from across the world gathered in Abu Dhabi for World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting that began on February 26, to discuss and deliberate upon global trade rules.

At the ongoing 13th ministerial conference of the WTO, India stressed that all policy options should be available for the WTO members to pursue for promoting digital industrialisation.

According to a Ministry of Commerce and Industry press release, India stressed that currently, a few firms based in developed countries dominate the global landscape of e-commerce.

India explained that there was a huge digital chasm between developed and developing countries, which makes it challenging to increase the participation of developing countries in global e-commerce.

Meanwhile, the closing session of WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) was extended to 5 pm (local time) on Friday, March 1. WTO Spokeswoman Ismaila Dieng said that the ministers continue to hold discussions on a package of agreements for adoption at MC13.

WTO, a global watchdog founded about three decades ago, now has 166 member countries, including India. This year, Timor-Leste and Comoros have been added as members of the WTO. The WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) was held in Switzerland’s Geneva from June 12-17, 2022. (ANI)

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