Interaction with Amb Mohan Kumar on “WTO and Global Trade”
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The Vivekananda International Foundation organized an interaction with Ambassador Mohan Kumar (retd) on “WTO and Global Trade” on 18 July 2022. After Welcoming Remarks by Lt Gen Ravi Sawhney (Retd), Ambassador Mohan Kumar expounded on the history of the WTO and its salience for India. Ambassador Kumar was India's lead negotiator first at the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) and then at the WTO (World Trade Organization) in crucial areas such as Intellectual Property Rights, Services, Dispute Settlement and Environment. He has served on multiple GATT/WTO panels relating to dispute settlement. He is also author of a book titled “Negotiation Dynamics of the WTO: An Insider’s Account”, published by Palgrave Macmillan (2018). Ambassador Kumar noted the changing nature of free trading agreements with a renewed focus on environmental, labour, and digital standards. He also noted the need to strengthen India’s position through cooperation and coordination vis-a-vis the World Trading Organization.

The 12th Ministerial Conference of WTO was held in June 2022 and its outcome document has committed members to work towards reform of the organization, especially the WTO's dispute settlement system. We can expect the reform package to include stricter disciplines for state owned enterprises, subsidies, etc. along with even redefinition of what constitutes emerging economies. Therefore, India will have work closely with other developing countries to retain special and differentiated treatment and decision making by consensus

Event Date 
July 18, 2022

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