India And South Africa Block Investment Deal At WTO Talks

India And South Africa Block Investment Deal At WTO Talks

India and South Africa have officially lodged objections against an investment agreement during a World Trade Organisation (WTO) conference in Abu Dhabi, effectively stalling its adoption. On Wednesday, delegates and a document both confirmed this development.

About 125 countries support the Investment Facilitation for Development (IFD) Agreement, which aims to improve the investment climate and encourage foreign direct investment. The document emphasised the absence of unanimous consensus, rendering the matter inappropriate for inclusion in the meeting’s agenda.

Negotiations geared towards establishing new global trade regulations across various domains are slated to conclude on Thursday. However, delegates expressed dissatisfaction with the limited progress achieved thus far, aside from the formal induction of two new WTO members: East Timor and Comoros.

There is still a paragraph in the draft deal package addressing climate change, indicating discord among members regarding this critical issue.

Reflecting on the ongoing negotiations, one trade delegate remarked, “It’s difficult to ascertain whether we’ll achieve anything or if we’re simply on the path to failure.” This sentiment encapsulates the prevailing uncertainty surrounding the discussions.

In the current impasse, the complexities of global trade governance are emphasized, highlighting the difficulties in reaching consensus among WTO members on issues like investment agreements and climate change.