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WTO New Regulations for International Trade in Services

Why is it in the news?

  • The 13th Ministerial Conference (MCA 13) of the World Trade Organization introduced new regulations aimed at simplifying international trade in services.

 More about the news

  • These regulations operate on a Most Favoured Nation (MFN) basis, ensuring that all member nations receive equal treatment.
  • The primary objective of these regulations is to simplify the authorization processes involved in international trade in services. Additionally, they aim to enhance transparency and promote gender equality within this sector.
  • By targeting bureaucratic hurdles in cross-border service trade, these regulations seek to streamline procedures.
  • Despite the initiative’s intent to foster greater international cooperation, it’s worth noting that only 72 out of the 164 WTO members are currently parties to the agreement. Notably, India and South Africa are among the countries that did not sign the agreement, potentially limiting its effectiveness and scope.

Other Events at MCA 13

Dialogue on Plastic Pollution and Environmentally Sustainable Plastics Trade (DPP):

  • This dialogue aims to address the pressing issue of plastic pollution while promoting environmentally sustainable practices in the plastics trade.
  • Participation in this dialogue is significant, with 78 members involved, representing a substantial portion (85%) of global trade volume.
  • Global leaders are advocating for a reduction in plastic trade due to its significant contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. UN data indicates that global plastic trade exceeded $1.2 trillion in 2022, with projections indicating a concerning 19% of greenhouse gas emissions originating from plastics by 2040.

Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform (FFSR) Initiative:

  • This initiative underscores the importance of reforming or eliminating harmful fossil fuel subsidies to address climate change and promote sustainable energy practices.
  • It aligns with Sustainable Development Goal 12(c) of the 2030 Agenda and supports the objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
  • Additionally, it aims to facilitate the transition away from fossil fuels in global energy systems.
  • India’s ranking as the fourth-largest recipient of fossil fuel subsidies underscores the urgency of addressing this issue, especially considering its commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2070, as pledged at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in 2021.

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