“Need based training progammes on commercial and economic diplomacy should be replicated in different parts of India as a part of an evolving plan for India’s integration with the global economy,” said Mr. S. K. Singh, the Governor of Rajasthan. He was inaugurating a training programme on commercial and economic diplomacy for Indian government officials and business exceutives organised by CUTS International, a non-governmental think tank on trade and regulatory issues which has its headquarters in Jaipur. This four-day programme is being held in Jaipur with support from the Department of Commerce, Government of India.
“In India many of the personnel handling trade policy matters and negotiations tend not to have the requisite skills to the needed extent, ” he said. “ Such dealings require understanding of other partners, seeing the future beyond figures and numbers, as well as a good understanding of human psychology,” he added. He urged CUTS to advocate for the setting up of an institute like the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development for the benefit of emerging Asian countries.
“I would have worked better and done better justice to my job if I had such training,” said Mr. B. K. Zutshi, former Indian Ambassador to GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade). He spoke on the importance of the art and science of diplomacy and negotiations and added that “greater togetherness of different agencies is required to further India’s interests”.
Mr. Kishan Rana, former Indian Ambassador to Germany and the Director of this programme spoke about why training and assessment is important for government officials and business executives. Pradeep S. Mehta, Secretary General of CUTS offered a different perspective by pointing out that this programme is by itself a part of a broader educational exercise that CUTS has undertaken in order to increase economic literacy in India.
Sixteen participants from various departments of the Government of India and the Confederation of Indian Industry are undergoing this training. It will cover various aspects of commercial and economic diplomacy such as the opportunities and challenges facing India in the global economy; a field perspective on trade promotion activities; India and its place in the multilateral trading system; practical approaches to negotiation; and simulation exercises on trade and investment negotiations.
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