“Administrative structure of the government still has the colonial work culture of confining junior officers to desk work. Due to this, opportunities to learn the nuances of commercial and trade-related activities and to develop professional skills are lost,” said Kishan Rana, former Indian Ambassador to Germany and an expert on commercial and economic diplomacy. He was speaking at a training programme on “Strengthening Skill on Commercial and Economic Diplomacy”. CUTS, a Jaipur-based non-governmental think-tank organised this programme, which concluded today. More than 20 officials from the Department of Commerce, Government of India took part in it.
Ahmed Ghoneim of Cairo University deliberated on various aspects of commercial and economic diplomacy and the science and art of negotiations. While speaking on the status of the Doha round of negotiations by the WTO Members, he said that the current impasse is largely due to disagreement over agriculture. He stated that this is a time when negotiating skills and techniques can be used in the best possible manner, which should eventually lead to a win-win situation for all countries.
Ramesh Chand of National Centre for Agriculture Economics and Policy Research spoke on the current state of Indian agriculture. Pranav Kumar of CUTS International deliberated on the opportunities and challenges of Indian manufacturing sector. Arpita Mukherjee of Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations outlined the current status of the services sector on India’s economic growth and possible challenges in future.
R. S. Ratna of the Centre for WTO Studies, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade explained the state of the Doha Round of negotiations on agriculture and services. B. K. Zutshi, former Indian Ambassador to the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) spoke on the status of the Doha Round of negotiations on services. Mock exercises on the lines of negotiations by the WTO Members were conducted.
According to a participant, “We would be going back with fresh knowledge and understanding of the subject, which will help us in our day to day work.” Since last year CUTS is organising this programme with the support of the Department of Commerce, Government of India. It is targeted to government officials and business associations. The next programme will be held in Jaipur from 18 to 21 August 2008. A compilation of articles by experienced and eminent experts on success stories of commercial and economic diplomacy of India is being done as a part of this programme.
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