WTO lauds India for improving trade policies

World Trade Organization’s (WTO) members commended steps taken by India to improve trade and economic policies in a more inclusive and sustainable manner during India’s seventh Trade Policy Review (TPR) which began at WTO’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. India’s official delegation for the TPR is headed by Commerce Secretary, Dr Anup Wadhawan.

Sources said TPR, an important mechanism under WTO monitoring function, involves a comprehensive peer-review of the member’s national trade policies.  India’s last TPR took place in 2015. India has advocated a short-term package of effective measures at the WTO that includes– a temporary waiver of certain TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) provisions to increase manufacturing capacity and ensure timely and affordable availability of new diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19; a permanent solution for Public Stockholding (PSH) for food security purposes to address food security concern; and a multilateral initiative that provides for easier access to medical services under mode-4 to facilitate easier cross-border movement of health care professionals.

The improvement in the economic and business environment, on account of the wide-ranging reforms, has enabled India to better its position in the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking from 142 in 2015 to 63 in 2019. This improvement is also endorsed by investors who continue to view India as a desirable investment destination even during the testing time of the pandemic, with FDI inflow rising by more than 10 per cent year-on-year to reach USD 40 billion in the first six months of 2020-21. In 2019-20, India received highest ever FDI inflow of USD 74.39 billion, sources said.