The Brics bloc was confident that a global trade reform pact would be implemented despite India’s concerns over risks to its food security, Brazil’s trade minister said on Monday.

“We are confident the Bali agreement will be implemented by all,” Brazilian Trade Minister Mauro Borges told reporters yesterday.

The deal reached in Bali in December last year to lower trade barriers was the World Trade Organisation’s first global pact and revived talks after the failure of the Doha round.

But India has criticised the pact for putting trade facilitation ahead of a compromise on agricultural subsidies, a crucial issue for a country that needs to stockpile food for its poor.

That disagreement has raised fears that India would derail the latest effort to free up to $1 trillion (R10.7 trillion) in global trade flows.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said South Africa had no difficulty in implementing the trade facilitation steps, but he said they should be balanced by complementary measures to help poorer nations. – Reuters