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WTO, India and Regionalism in World Trade

WTO, India and Regionalism in World Trade

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The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only international body dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, as well as the legal ground rules for international commerce and for trade policy. These agreements have three main objectives: (a) to help trade flow as freely as possible, (b) to achieve further liberalization gradually through negotiations, and (c) to set up an impartial means of settling disputes. A number of simple, fundamental principles run throughout all the WTO agreements and are the foundation of the multilateral trading system. They include: non-discrimination, freer trade, predictable policies, encouragement to competition, and extra provisions for less developed countries. Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) are an integral part of India's foreign trade policy, complementing the multilateral trading system. Prior to the economic reforms process that was initiated in 1991, India had adopted a very cautious and guarded approach to regionalism. Recognizing that RTAs would continue to feature prominently in world trade, India has lately engaged with its trading partners/blocks with the intention of expanding its export market. This volume contains papers on India's position in the context of WTO and regional trade agreements. Authored by distinguished scholars in the field, these papers provide deep insights into the complexities of India's commercial relations with the outside world.