CUTS, a Jaipur-based non-governmental think-tank on trade and regulatory issues, is organising a workshop in Jaipur from 16 to 19 July on “Strengthening Skills on Commercial and Economic Diplomacy” for Indian government officials from Department of Commerce and other ministries and departments. It is supported by the Department of Commerce, Government of India. It seeks to fill the vacuum that exists in terms of an absence of institutional base on commercial and economic diplomacy.
The participants will be imparted with skills on various aspects of commercial and economic diplomacy through lectures, simulation exercises, group discussions, etc by a number of distinguished experts: B. K. Zutshi, a former Indian Ambassador to the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which was the predecessor of the World Trade Organisation); Kishan S. Rana, Senior Fellow, DiploFoundation and a former Indian Ambassador to Germany, Ahmed F. Ghoneim, Associate Professor of Economics of Cairo University; Ramesh Chand, Director and Principal Scientist of National Centre for Agriculture Economics and Policy Research; Rajan S. Ratna, Professor at the Centre for WTO Studies of the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Arpita Mukherjee, Senior Fellow at Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations; Bipul Chatterjee, Deputy Executive Director of CUTS; and Pranav Kumar, Policy Analyst of CUTS.
Last year CUTS had organised three such programmes. It is targeted to government officials and representatives from business and international organisations handling international affairs and negotiations.
It covers an analytical framework on commercial and economic diplomacy, a practical approach to negotiations, effective communication in commercial and economic diplomacy and writing effective resolutions, an overview of the multilateral trading system, an overview of Indian agriculture, manufacturing and services sector and WTO negotiations on agriculture, non-agricultural market access and services.
According to Ambassador Zutshi, earlier commercial and economic diplomacy has been largely limited to negotiations on import tariffs and quotas. However, trade negotiations now encompass a number of areas on which national and international regulations, instructions and actions have an impact. In this era of instant communication, diplomacy – whether commercial or economic or political – is even more challenging. One cannot wash globalisation away. Today it implies even greater international involvement, which in turn calls for the development of requisite skills among those involved in such international engagement. Informed participation by all stakeholders in the national preparatory process is equally important. This is precisely why programmes like this has assumed a greater importance.
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