Sunday, December 13, 2015

WTO: Will Nairobi round push International trade

The Ministerial Conference is a top decision making body of World Trade Organisation. The 10th Ministerial Conference would be held in Nairobi, Kenya from 15th to 18th December, 2015. Last 3 rounds have not brought any major positive movement or result. The WTO framework, currently in operation is on the basis of Doha round and has determined various mandatory guidelines in relation to International Trade including Tariff Barriers, non-tariff Barriers, most favoured nation treatment, anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and other several norms, determining  trade relationships of more than 150 countries.
G7 countries have been using WTO as a major tool to serve their interest. The negotiation in Doha round got stuck on the issue of food security, public procurement, agriculture subsidy, working condition and so on. To circumvent WTO, USA and 12 other countries have entered into Trans Pacific pact (TPP). Similarly USA is in final stage of signing TIPP with European Union. These multilateral and plurilateral pacts being parallel to WTO framework are giving special advantage to the signatory countries at the cost of rest of the world. It is worth noticing that china and India have been kept out of TPP and TIPP. These pacts are hurting even the most favoured nation treatment, in the name of harmonisation of standard.
India and China now need to strategies together as to how to counter these pacts by signing similar parallel pacts with select countries or to push new strategies on the WTO framework itself to make the WTO move in a manner that all parallel pacts are killed. India & China with the support of Russia, South Africa, select south American countries and the entire Asian and African continent can decide to have a completely new strategy to remove WTO hurdles in negotiation on the one hand and to find out to new issues and methodologies to ensure safeguard of their own interest. That would mean, accepting partly the pressure of the developed world on the WTO platform , while simultaneously taking away larger benefits in WTO negotiation to safeguard Indian (domestic) interest in all the 4-5 Strategic contentious issue, a new vision of the honourable Prime Minister and intellectual panel can guide a new direction.
Limitation of benefit Protocol (LBO)
In the international double tax avoidance agreement USA, Europe, and Australia have provided major relaxation mutually, without providing similar LBO benefit to the citizen of India and other developing Countries. This is clearly against WTO pact.

Services : The general agreement on trade in services (GATS-) have not moved much due to insistence on movement of natural person, to be made free, being insisted upon by India china and developing countries . No developed country is comfortable in the free movement of natural person. Accordingly, the time is right to at least negotiate on other parameters For example: in accounting sector, or in medicine the requirement for mutual recognition of qualifications need to be institutionalised at world level ( e.g. IFAC in case of Accounting qualification), requirement for permanent residency, requirement of citizenship could be negotiated harder, while leaving movement’s natural person matter to bilateral negotiation, requisite safeguards against terrorism, anti- national and other illegal activities. America’s shrewd trade & economic Politics in the WTO framework can be countered only by shrewd and well planned strategies of the Indian & Chinese to be supported by Russia and Africa.

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