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Difficult agricultural negotiations expected at international forum

Geneva, Feb 17 (Prensa Latina) The next ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) might be the scene of difficult agricultural negotiations, given the current military confrontations, inflation and rising food prices, an expert said.

Scheduled for February 26-29, the summit will come at a time complicated by the effects of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on the global economy and trade, the conflictive situation for international shipping in the Red Sea, persistent inflation and high food prices, WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said.

Although there is a constructive spirit around the talks, it will be difficult to achieve results on trade issues linked to agriculture and food production in general, she told reporters.

The issue has always been a contentious matter, since agriculture usually provides employment for many people and contributes to the development of national economies, even in those countries where the sector accounts for a small part of their Gross Domestic Product, she acknowledged.

Less than two weeks before the ministerial meeting in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, the WTO representative insisted that “for the first time” she observed a constructive spirit, taking into account the scant progress made at the previous event in 2022.