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WTO Nairobi deals good for all

By The Standard | December 21st 2015
WTO Secretary-General Roberto Azevedo

The recently concluded World Trade Organisation (WTO) conference delivered two landmark deals that many believe will foster fair global trade, catalyse development in the developing world and keep the rich, rich.

After numerous postponements and talks that went on into the thin hours of the morning, a deal that got rid of export subsidies in agriculture was unveiled on Saturday.

It creates a level playing field for all countries and opens up opportunities for the poorer regions to compete for the world's markets. The deal will effectively halt the use of subsidies and "other schemes" that support agricultural exports.

Notably, subsidies on cotton, a crop widely grown in Africa, have been scrapped. This will open up job opportunities and generate wealth for millions of peasant farmers across the continent.

Even the developed nations did not go home empty-handed. Export subsidies in wheat flour, sugar and dairy, a contentious issue in some of these countries, were removed.

Passing of the 1996 IT Agreement between China and the US was another watershed moment of the Nairobi talks. Consumers can now look forward to affordable prices on electronic products.

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