The World Trade Organization made some progress overnight toward agreements on measures to broaden global trade, with a final deal on agriculture subsidies, overfishing, and tariff-free e-commerce hinging on major economies’ willingness to make last-minute concessions, people familiar with the talks said.

Negotiators for more than 160 countries were narrowing down differences over draft compromises to curb subsidies in fisheries, but in the agriculture sector, discussions on a roadmap for reducing public aid and lifting barriers were proving more difficult. That was partly because of India, which had its demands in return for supporting an extension of a moratorium that keeps cross-border digital commerce free of tariffs, the people said.

The closing session of the WTO’s 13th ministerial meeting was pushed back for a third time, to 5 pm in Abu Dhabi, to allow the talks to continue. 

In a draft statement on agriculture circulating early Friday and seen by Bloomberg News, one proposed phrase would have members agree to adopt a permanent solution to the issue of public stockholding for food-security purposes — one of the most sensitive issues over the week-long negotiations and something India is pressing for. These programs won’t be allowed to distort trade or hurt food security of the members, according to the draft, which says progress will be assessed a year from now.

In response to India’s stance, some delegations have warned about the potential for such public stockholding programs to influence the price of global commodities.

In the draft text to end fisheries subsidies contributing to overcapacity and over fishing, the delegates included a differential treatment for developing countries during a transition period that it was still under discussion, according to the latest draft on Friday morning.

Meanwhile, the draft text on e-commerce committed to examine the impact of the moratorium on the digital development of developing nations, according to the draft document.

The negotiations through this week, however, sparked criticism among a group of Central and South American nations, which questioned the transparency and the inclusiveness of the talks mostly driven by the major economies, a diplomat from the region said.

In a statement, this group of countries considered it “necessary” that WTO members have enough time to consider any result before its final approval.

--With assistance from Eric Martin.

(Adds latest delay in third paragraph, second deck head)