India is slowly entering new trade frontiers, and there is much to prepare, says economist Amita Batra. Trade policy must look ahead at the ‘WTO plus’ provisions which are beyond tariff-based market access, and services, India’s strength, should be an integral part of any trade deal. For those efforts to succeed, domestic reform is urgently needed.
Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs
Dammu Ravi is Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). He has served in Indian Missions abroad in Mexico, Cuba, Brussels in various capacities from 1991 to 2001. He served at Headquarters in Ministry of External Affairs as Deputy Secretary/Director in West Europe and UN Divisions from 2001 to 2006. He was Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs responsible for India’s relations with Latin America and Caribbean countries from October 2009 to December 2013. He also handled India’s trade and investment relations with regional groups such as G20, BRICS, Commonwealth, SCO, APEC, IORA, ASEM, UNCTAD etc. He was India’s chief negotiator in the mega regional free trade agreement ‘Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)’. He holds a Masters Degree in Political Science from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. He has published research papers on trade matters: (i) Standardizing India’s Exports, (ii) Liberalizing India’s Agriculture Markets
In his new book, former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran demystifies China's imagined belief of itself as the Middle Kingdom. Contemporary China's propensity to cut and paste history has resulted in China's resentment of India based on a limited understanding of Indian history and of China's past recognition of India as an advanced civilisation which impacted Chinese culture. Today the West recognises India's potential to match China, with depth and skills, over the long term.
In the last two decades, there have been three India-Africa summits, a testament to the growth of bilateral relations. Rajiv Bhatia's book, India-Africa Relations: Changing Horizons, highlights Africa’s emergence as a global powerhouse, with several countries vying for a stake in the region. India’s unique political and economic development model appeals to the African, and can be used to forge an enduring relationship with the continent.