Trade & Sustainable Development

Ongoing Projects

Expanding Tradable Benefits of Trans-boundary Water: Promoting Navigational Usage of Inland Waterways in Ganga and Brahmaputra Basins (IW)

CUTS International, with the support from The Asia Foundation (TAF), is one of the partners under the Civil Society Fund (CSF) of the South Asia Water Governance Program (SAWGP). Under this project, CUTS aims to contribute to improving institutions (i.e. policies, laws, and regulations) for inland waterways governance with particular emphasis on transport connectivity and livelihood in the BBIN region.

Food Security in India The Interactions of Climate Change, Economics, Politics and Trade (FOODSEC)

Project aims to explore a model for analysing food security in India through the interactions of climate change, economics, politics and trade. It is based on the premise that a broad but a concrete empirical approach is needed to understand the mechanisms of food security i.e. an institutional approach addressing how various kinds of food production and distribution institutions operate and interact to produce a combination of entitlements that can ensure household food security.

Development Dimensions of National Foreign Trade Policy of India (NFTP)

This project aims at enhancing the developmental outcomes of India’s National Foreign Trade Policy (NFTP), by addressing existing gaps in NFTP’s inclusiveness and its coordination with external trade negotiations, fostering linkages between the NFTP and FDI policy, and exploring new avenues for using the NFTP for strengthening the participation of Indian business units in regional/global value chains.

Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio Promoting water, food and energy security in South Asia (SDIP)

CUTS International, with the support from Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), is one of the portfolio partners for the recently developed Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio (SDIP) for South Asia. This 12 years investment strategy aims to achieve increased water, food and energy security in South Asia to facilitate economic growth and improve livelihoods, targeting the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly women and girls. The project will be implemented for 12 years in three phases of four years each. CUTS will be implementing the first phase of this investment portfolio from October 2013 to October 2016.

Projects Completed

Addressing Barriers to Rice Seeds Trade Between India and Bangladesh (RISTE)

CUTS CITEE is implementing a 21 months project ‘Addressing Barriers to Rice Seeds Trade Between India and Bangladesh (RISTE)’ starting from January 2013 to September 2014 to address trade and trade-related regulatory challenges in cross-border rice seeds trade between India and Bangladesh. It will not only identify key advocacy stakeholders to ensure greater uptake of the findings of the policy research in the media and in society but will also create the enabling conditions for learning about seeds trade, not only in rice, but also for other important crops in South Asia. The project is supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

A Study of Environmental Standards and their Trade Impact on Indian Textiles & Clothing Sector (SESTI)

CUTS CITEE is implementing the project ‘A Study of Environmental Standards and their Trade Impact: Case of India’ is supported by Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) through Royal Norwegian Embassy , New Delhi, India. The objective is to promote dialogue on environmental standards and labels between producers in the South and consumers in the North, especially those associated with India and Europe (the emphasis would be on Norway but the cases of Germany, Sweden and France will also be studied in detail); generate estimates and ascertain stakeholder perceptions of net welfare benefits from such standards/labels; and thereby recommend changes in associated systems of governance to augment such net welfare levels. Given its vast scope, this study will be restricted to the textile sector and will be completed over a period of two year.

Environmental Sustainability Impact Assessment of Cotton Value Chain in India (ESIACOV)

The study entitled ‘Environmental Sustainability Impact Assessment of Cotton Value Chain in India’ is being implemented by CUTS Centre for International Trade, Economics and Environment (CITEE). It is a part of an ongoing project titled ‘Regulations, Markets and Consumer Self-regulation in Global Sustainable Development : A comparison of three European countries’ coordinated by the National Institute for Consumer Research (SIFO) in collaboration with the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO). The research will analyse cotton production practices, sustainable production alternatives and their usefulness and availability in India. It will further delve into regulatory framework for cotton production in India along with regulatory demands from European importers. The principal objective of this study is to assess and promote environmental sustainability practices in the entire cotton value chain. It aims to provide recommendations to policymakers for enhancing environmental sustainability practices in the cotton value chain. This study will be completed over a period of two-and-a-half year.

Assessing Consumer Behaviour on Energy Efficient Products in India

CUTS is implementing a project on Assessing Consumer Behaviour on Energy Efficiency Products in India with the objective to promote energy conservation through greater use of energy efficient products. This 1-year project is supported by the Climate Works Foundation, U.S. through Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (SSEF), New Delhi. The project is a major step towards measuring consumer awareness about energy efficient products in India. It is expected to generate a comprehensive benchmark, against which future initiatives on awareness generation for energy conservation and use of energy efficient products can be evaluated. It may also provide a basis for designing future strategies by the relevant departments and ministries of the Government of India and the state governments for enhancing the use of energy efficient products in India.

Impact of Climate Change and Food Insecurity on Poverty

CUTS CITEE is carrying out a scoping study on the Impact of Climate Change and Food Insecurity on Poverty. This study focusses on South Asian countries namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. The objective of this project is to assess the perceptions of stakeholders, especially small and marginal farmers, about the need for financial and technological measures based on intra-regional/international cooperation for mitigating the adverse impact of climate change on food security. The study will be completed over a period of one year.

Mainstreaming International Trade into National Development Strategy

CUTS CITEE is implementing the project titled “Mainstreaming International Trade into National Development Strategy: A Pilot Project in Bangladesh and India” with the support of Royal Norwegian Embassy, New Delhi, India. Over a period of two years, this project will be built through scientific consolidation and expansion of the need-based and demand driven agenda for mainstreaming, international trade into national development strategies of two South Asian countries, viz, Bangladesh and India. The full tenure of the project is 2 years.

Improving Institution for Pro-Poor Growth (IPPG)

The Consortium argues that the prospects for Pro-Poor Growth (PPG) are fundamentally influenced by the interactions of formal and informal political, social and cultural institutions with economic institutions. This follows from the now widespread recognition that the same formal institutions generate different outcomes in different contexts, and that comparable positive outcomes may be achieved with different institutional arrangements.

Grassroots Reachout and Networking in India on Trade & Economics (GRANITE Phase II)

The GRANITE Phase II project aims to foster equity and accountability in the system of economic governance in India, ensure a better economic literacy, enhance positive linkages between good economic governance & human development and generate a more coherent civil society voice on the economic governance of globalisation issues and its effects on the livelihoods of the poor, particularly women and other marginalized sections of the society.

Linkages between trade, development and poverty reduction (TDP)

The debate on the linkages between trade, development and poverty reduction has received increased attention in the last years. Their complex dynamics have been well established in the economic literature, showing that trade policy affects poverty in manifold ways through its effects on economic growth and income distribution. Yet, despite the existence of theoretical literature on the linkages between trade, development and poverty reduction, insufficient empirical evidence exists to prove the robustness of this linkage. CUTS CITEE is implementing these activities in association with its different centres and partner organisations in 15 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Europe. All activities are analysed in view of the role that international trade can and should play in reducing poverty in poor countries. By associating with the implementation of this project, the Southern and the Northern civil society will gain experience, aiding their development, as well as the cross-fertilisation of ideas and experiences.

Enabling developing countries to seize eco-label opportunities

This project is being implemented by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in association with local partners and co- funded by the EU (European Commission (EC) Programme on Environment in Developing Countries) & the Federal Ministry for the Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), German Ministry. The project is for a duration of four years and would be a collaborative work of UNEP, International and National Partners and Associates. Target countries are Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Mexico and South Africa. CUTS is the Indian partner of the project.

Grassroots Reachout and Networking in India on Trade & Economics (GRANITE Phase I)

CUTS-CITEE is implementing the Grassroots Reachout and Networking in India on Trade & Economics (GRANITE) project which aims to raise awareness on globalisation issues, in general, and WTO issues, in particular, in India (and outside the country)

Documenting advocacy practices involving local stakeholders with the process of trade and globalisation in four Indian States

The project “Documenting advocacy practices involving local stakeholders with the process of trade and globalisation in four Indian States” aims to share the GRANITE model with civil society organisations and other stakeholders in India and other countries, particularly in poor countries, which are facing challenges of globalisation. It intends to empower the local stakeholders on issues of globalisation and trade and also to assess the impact of such advocacy efforts. The larger impact that the project is envisaging is that of upfronting the case for civil society’s involvement by the state actors while adopting policies at the local level and in those having direct link with the process of globalisation. This project is supported by Oxfam Novib, The Netherlands.