1 June 2023
Joint Platform Promotes Access to Subsidy Information
Photo by Duangphorn Wiriya on Unsplash
story highlights

The Joint Subsidy Platform provides data on government support to agriculture, fossil fuel subsidies, fisheries subsidies, government support in industrial sectors, and cross-sectoral and economywide support.

It aims to promote dialogue among governments by “leveraging and encouraging development and disclosure of more data and analysis”.

The heads of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization (WTO) launched a Joint Subsidy Platform (JSP) to enhance transparency on the use of subsidies. The JSP aims to facilitate access to information about subsidies’ nature, size, and economic impact, supporting dialogue on their “appropriate use and design.”

“Improved transparency is a fundamental first step for governments to cooperate more on subsidies,” an overview of the Subsidy Platform notes. “A better understanding of the complexity, size, design, and effects of subsidy measures could facilitate and expedite discussions to strengthen multilateral rules.”

Acknowledging that information for some sectors is more developed than in others, the JSP provides data on:

The JSP also provides information on additional resources, and will continue to be improved.

In a statement following the launch of the Platform, WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann, President of the World Bank David Malpass, and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, noted that “a succession of international emergencies and the growing urgency of the climate crisis underscore that in some circumstances well-designed subsidies can have a legitimate, albeit often only temporary, role.”

They highlight the need to ensure that subsidies “are transparent, respect trade commitments, and do not undermine policy predictability.” To use them effectively, they call for “a more common understanding across governments on the appropriate uses and design of subsidies,” where, they argue, the JSP can play a role by promoting dialogue among governments by “leveraging and encouraging development and disclosure of more data and analysis.”

The Joint Subsidy Platform was launched on 25 May 2023. [Joint Subsidy Platform] [WTO News Story]

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