Difficult agricultural negotiations await at the international forum

Difficult agricultural negotiations await at the international forum

Geneva, February 16 (Prensa Latina) The next ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) could become the scene of difficult agricultural negotiations given the current war confrontations, inflation and rising food prices, an expert estimated today.

The summit, scheduled for February 26-29, will take place at a complicated time due to the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict on the economy and world trade, the conflict situation in international maritime transport in the Red Sea, persistent inflation and high food prices, ruled the Director General of the WTO, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Although a constructive spirit prevailed in the talks, it will be difficult to achieve results on trade issues related to agriculture and food production in general, the official said in statements to reporters.

He acknowledged that the issue has always been a controversial one because agriculture typically provides jobs for many people and contributes to the progress of economies, even in countries where the sector only accounts for a small part of the gross domestic product.

Less than two weeks before the ministerial meeting in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the WTO official stressed that she felt a constructive mood “for the first time,” taking into account the little progress made at the previous event in 2022.

“We have made efforts in the last 20 years but we have not had much luck, we have made historic progress in fishing with a lot of work and now we are trying agriculture,” he admitted.

Nevertheless, there are difficulties in many negotiations, he admitted, so the current optimistic atmosphere “needs to be accompanied by a dose of realism” in order to bring positions closer together.