Wto Agreements And Indian Economy


The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established on 1 January 1995 to promote world trade. Multilateral trade agreements include the 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and related agreements; General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS); And Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). In addition to these agreements, Schedules 1 and 2 concern the dispute settlement mechanism and Schedule 3 the trade policy mechanism. It should be noted that these three annexes are part of a “single business” approach. The basic principles of the regime are: the most favoured countries (all countries should be treated in the same way); domestic treatment (equal treatment between foreigners and indigenous peoples); freer trade (reducing tariffs and removing non-tariff barriers). The report concludes that India`s increasing openness and integration into the global economy are important factors in explaining the healthy economic growth of the mid-1990s. However, the recent economic slowdown shows that further or even accelerated reforms are needed. Greater transparency in decision-making could, for example, complement India`s trade liberalization process to promote a more efficient and productive economic structure. Such reforms, according to the report, should reduce the anti-export bias, which is still inherent in trade and industrial support structures, and allow the government to reduce export incentives and move towards a more outward-looking rather than export-oriented policy framework.

Such measures would not only strengthen India`s integration into the global economy, but also provide a solid foundation for sustainable growth in the future. India attaches importance to its participation in regional agreements under multilateral rules. India played an important role in the creation of the South Asian Regional Cooperation Association (SAARC), whose main success in 1995 was the conclusion of trade preference negotiations under the SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangement (SAPTA). The SAPTA was commissioned on December 7, 1995 and includes preferential tariff concessions for 226 positions and product groups. In January 1996, a second round of SAPTA trade negotiations was launched to extend tariff concessions. Effective March 1, 1997, India granted concessions on 902 lines. The third round of trade negotiations began in July 1997. The aim is to continue the SAPTA process with the final goal of a free trade area in South Asia (SAFTA) by 2001. India is a member of the Bangkok Agreement, originally signed in 1975 and now includes Bangladesh, the Republic of Korea, the Lao People`s Democratic Republic, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka.

The agreement provides for the liberalisation of tariff and non-tariff barriers between its members. The Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation was recently established with 13 other countries in the region. The Association`s Charter was adopted in March 1997. Economic cooperation must take place in the areas of trade facilitation, promotion and liberalization, promotion of foreign investment, scientific and technological cooperation, tourism, the free movement of individuals and service providers, and the development of infrastructure and human resources. An enabling clause to identify other areas of cooperation is also included.

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