Controlling Food Prices in Turbulent Times An Agenda for South Asia

Session No. 29; WTO Forum 2011 Geneva - 20 September 2011;


Abstract of Session

World food prices rose by a steep 43 percent in 2007 creating shock waves around the globe, specially in food deficit countries of Africa and Asia. More such shocks are forecasted in the near future on account of imbalances and mismatches.

South Asia covering mainly India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka accounts for a quarter of the world population. It is a key player in wheat, rice, sugar and edible oil in world food markets. This region can play a role as a market maker to control food prices and move regular supplies to Food Deficit Countries. During periods of uncertainty and volatility arising from natural factors or economic crisis, it can act as a swing factor to turn the direction of prices.

Therefore this session at the Forum will examine the following issues:

(a)  Commodity, currency and financial spot and future markets in the global food trade for true price discovery and control of speculation.

(b)  World food prices and export and import QRs in food trade in checking volatility.

(c)  Sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures as non-tariff barriers, Doha Round, Food Security and AoA and their role in checking food price.

(d)  Ports, warehousing, transport, handling and trade facilitation bottlenecks to move food in the supply chain quickly and at low cost.

(e)  Suggestions for South Asia co-operation and role of individual members in crafting measures to moderate turbulence.

Background of the Organizations

The session will be jointly organized by a team of World Trade Centre Mumbai, a leading Trade Promotion Organization and Academy of Business Studies, New Delhi, a think tank on world trade. The two bodies are working on the subject of WTO for the last 17 years. They publish the Weekly World Trade Scanner for the last 12 years which reports and analyses the issues of the world trade and WTO and also publish the website which is updated every day.


Mr Arun Goyal, Director, Academy of Business Studies, New Delhi


         Dr. Harsha V.Singh, Deputy Director General, World Trade Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

  • Dr.Parthasarathi Shome, Director and Chief Executive, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), New Delhi, India
  • Dr.Sadiq Ahmed, Vice Chairman, Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Mr Vijay G.Kalantri, Vice Chairman, World Trade Centre Mumbai and Board Director, WTCA, N.Y and President, All India Association of Industries, Mumbai, India (In the Chair)


Contact Point

Mr Y.R.Warerkar

Executive Director

World Trade Centre Mumbai


Tel: 91-022-22181992 / 66387320

Address: 31st Floor, Centre 1 Building, World Trade Centre Complex, Cuffe Parade, Mumbai 400005, INDIA