‘From the point of view of welfare effects of trade liberalisation under the Doha Development Round (DDR), the highest benefits for India would come from liberalised world trade in agriculture’, said Siddhartha Mitra, Director (Research), CUTS International. He was presenting the research study titled ‘Doha Round Impacts on India’ in a seminar jointly organised by the Centre for WTO Studies and CUTS International at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi today.
The study, conducted by CUTS International, deals with the effects of multilateral trade liberalisation, as envisaged as an outcome of the Doha Round of WTO negotiations covering agriculture, industrial goods and services sectors, on economic growth as well as poverty reduction in India.
Commenting upon the study, R S Ratna, Professor, Centre for WTO Studies, New Delhi, said that it is a valuable exercise which takes into account major effects of India’s engagement in the WTO negotiations. According to him, as DDR progresses the study should be updated with the latest changes in the negotiating texts of the WTO.
Amit S Ray, Professor, ICRIER, pointed out that a major hindrance faced by negotiators from India and developing countries is the lack of well researched inputs to assist trade policy formulation. In this respect, there are certain serious policy implications and alternative scenarios emerging out of the study which should be considered more seriously. It is crucial for India to advance negotiating positions based on similar rigorous studies for deriving more concrete and tangible outcomes from the DDR.
Bipul Chatterjee, Director, CUTS Institute for Regulation and Competition, one of the discussants in the seminar, said that a novel feature of the study is its consideration of trade in services which would throw up immense opportunities for India.
The seminar was attended by about 30 participants representing academia, media and policy making bodies.
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