Members of the World Trade Organization on 08th January 2021 appreciated India’s goods and services tax, reforms on taxation, trade facilitation and improving the ease of doing business, and liberalized regimes for FDI and intellectual property rights at the second and final session of its Trade Policy Review (TPR).
On its part, India said it is committed to become an attractive trade and investment partner for the world and that it has a stable policy environment with considerably lower applied rates than its WTO commitments, with only a miniscule fraction of its imports being subject to trade remedial measures.
India also said it is streamlining and simplifying the overall domestic business environment even further with an aim to reach the top 50 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report.
There was huge appreciation for India’s reforms and leadership role at the WTO and championing the cause of developing world, including our proposal on TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) waiver.
“Almost all developing countries complimented India on its stance on special and differential treatment, agriculture and leadership at the WTO. Even China’s statement, though nuanced, was very positive on day one,” said another official, adding that only the EU and the US took the floor on the second day of the review to ask India to focus on issues related to farm subsidies and tariffs.
Above 1,050 questions asked during the two-day exercise and 53 interventions were made by the member countries.
In its report on Wednesday, the multilateral trade watchdog said that India’s export restrictions and bans seem to contradict its goal to increase its share of global exports to 3.5% by 2020 from 2% in 2015, and that the country continued to use trade policy to meet other objectives, changing policies constantly and diminishing the predictability of the regime. On trade remedies, it noted that India continues to be an active user of anti-dumping measures and "is currently the main user of anti-dumping measures in the WTO".