TFA key to the success of ‘Make in India’: WTO
The Dollar Business Bureau Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General, World Trade Organisation (WTO), has said that implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and reducing trade barriers will be crucial for the success of India’s “Make in India” programme. Speaking about India’s importance in policy measures that WTO plans to take this year, Azevêdo said, “It is in the interests of developing countries that the WTO is seen as an organisation that delivers. So we must succeed in these efforts — and, as ever, India’s leadership will be vital.” He added that there are several developing countries who are looking up to India to raise issues of importance. “That role carries real responsibility. And I think we are seeing India take its rightful place at the centre of the world stage,” he said. Azevêdo also said that India is brimming with a real sense of positive energy and momentum which is capturing people’s attention around the world. “In particular, the Prime Minister’s “Make in India” initiative — inviting the world to produce, invest and do business here — is very significant in the context of the work we do in the WTO,” he said. Azevêdo said that reducing trade barriers and implementing the TFA will be important in supporting the “Make in India” initiative. In addition, other goals of the WTO such as integration of more countries into global value chains, and building supply-side capacity and trade-related infrastructure through the Aid for Trade initiative, will help India in improving ease of doing business. Azevêdo added that the TFA will reduce trade costs by up to 15% in developing countries which will help India boost its trade, particularly in the south-south trade. He has also assured that the WTO will provide practical support to India in the implementation of the TFA. India is a founding member of the WTO. Since 1995, India’s applied tariffs have dropped from an average of around 39% to around 13.5% now. In the same period, India’s exports have increased to around ten times the level seen in 1995, said Azevêdo.
This article was published on January 17, 2015.