WTO (Negotiations, Regular Work, Leadership)

Doha Round Implications for India: Presentation of a Study by CUTS International

During the side event to the 7th WTO Ministerial Conference the findings of a CUTS study undertaken by Dr. Selim Raihan and Dr. Bazlul Khondker of South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM), Dhaka, Bangladesh were presented and discussed. The authors examined the impact of the Doha Development Round on India with regards to agricultural liberalisation, NAMA negotiations and domestic services liberalisation.

“Liberalisation of trade in agriculture through the WTO Doha Round of negotiations will accelerate aggregate welfare gains for India in the long run though it will generate only marginal increase in GDP in the immediate future”, says a study undertaken by CUTS International titled ‘Doha Round Impacts on India: A Study in a Sequential Dynamic CGE Framework’.

The study was presented here earlier today along the sidelines of the Seventh Ministerial Conference of the WTO and commented on by a number of trade policy experts from various countries.

According to Selim Raihan, Director of the South Asian Network on Economic Modeling and a major contributor to the study, paddy, wheat, oilseeds and cotton would emerge as the major beneficiaries of agricultural liberalisation. The liberalisation of the non-agricultural sector would also lead to a rise in real GDP as contraction of some sectors would be offset by the expansion of textiles as well as some services and agricultural sectors.

Richard Newfarmer, Special Representative of the World Bank to the UN and the WTO, opined that the economic model presented by the study was innovative and superior to similar studies as it considered the impact of Doha Round tariff cuts on poverty reduction and the set of effects generated in each of the main negotiation areas (agriculture, NAMA and services) in isolation as well as in combination with each other.

Earlier, Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International said that every WTO member needs to understand how negotiations translate into quantitative economic gains in order to frame future negotiation positions that are both realistic and legitimate. The mentioned study “would do the same for Indian negotiators and help in determining the desired levels of cuts and flexibilities under the Doha Round”.