The Indian government has announced the extension of Brajendra Navnit’s tenure as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the World Trade Organization (WTO) by nine months. This decision highlights India’s commitment to advancing its key priorities on the global trade stage, particularly in preparation for the upcoming 13th ministerial conference of the WTO in 2024.
Background and Tenure Extension:
Brajendra Navnit assumed office as India’s Ambassador to the WTO in June 2020, with his initial tenure set to conclude on June 28, 2023. However, recognizing Navnit’s valuable contributions and the need for continuity during critical negotiations, the government has extended his term until March 31, 2024. The decision was approved by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) in response to the proposal from the Department of Commerce.
- Extending Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Waiver for Covid-related Products:
India is pushing for the extension of the waiver on global intellectual property rights for Covid therapeutics and diagnostics. Currently, the waiver applies to Covid vaccines, but India believes that expanding this flexibility is crucial in ensuring global access to affordable and life-saving medical treatments during the ongoing pandemic.
- Opposition to Selective Carbon Border Measures:
New Delhi has expressed concerns over the selective application of carbon border measures, particularly targeting “trade-exposed industries” such as steel, aluminum, chemicals, plastics, polymers, and fertilizers. India argues that these measures should not unfairly disadvantage its industries and emphasizes the need to address the underlying competitiveness concerns adequately.
The extension of Ambassador Brajendra Navnit’s tenure at the WTO underscores India’s dedication to advancing its key trade priorities and ensuring effective representation on the global stage. As the nation prepares for the 13th ministerial conference of the WTO, India remains committed to promoting global access to essential medical treatments and safeguarding the interests of its industries against unfair trade measures.
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