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Rediff.com  » Business » Modi govt's stand on WTO draws flak

Modi govt's stand on WTO draws flak

July 23, 2014 14:33 IST

Stating that there were conflicting signals coming from India on the ratification of the World Trade Organisation trade facilitation agreement, a senior trade expert said any blocking of the global trade deal would undermine the confidence of the international trade community in the new Narendra Modi government.

"I think, if India takes steps that undermines the agreement, from my perspective that (would) seriously undermine the confidence the international business community has about the Modi government," Jake Colvin, vice president, Global Trade Issues at the National Foreign Trade Council told PTI.

"The international trade community is watching the Modi government's decision very closely, which will send a clear signal one way or the other to investors, business owners, and policy makers," an official familiar with the negotiations said.

"Everyone is hopeful that the Modi government will make good on the promises India has made and join the other countries that are already taking action to implement trade facilitation and food stock piling," said the official strictly on condition of anonymity.

It is learnt that the US had recently presented two separate papers to India.

However, sources familiar with the negotiations alleged that so far Indians have not engaged at all.

In fact, New Delhi rejected the second proposal without even reviewing it, informed sources said.

The first paper is believed was a national experience paper tabled in March, describing US approaches over the years to address concerns regarding food security.

The second, tabled last week, is understood to be a proposal for the work programme on food security.

For example, it is reported to suggest the Secretariat compile a literature review on approaches to food security.

"The US business community is alarmed by the conflicting signals that is being sent by India about the WTO agreement and about what they are going to do with the agreement.

"We think that the deal is generally good for business and also short of inclusiveness, makes its easier for small and medium size business to engage in the global market place," Colvin said.

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