WTO should be more responsive to needs of developing and least-developed countries: Nirmala Sitharaman



WTO should be more responsive to needs of developing and least-developed countries: Nirmala Sitharaman 

WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement to boost South-South trade by reducing trade costs by 15 per cent: WTO Director General 


The Minister of State for Commerce & Industry (Independent Charge), Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman has appreciated the good work of World Trade Organization (WTO) in stemming protectionism and urged it to be more responsive to the needs of developing and least-developed countries. Speaking at The Partnership Summit 2015 in Jaipur today, Smt. Sitharaman expressed concern that some countries have started to equate only free trade with development. 

The Minister highlighted that few developing countries have improved their share of global trade. Least Developed Countries (LDCs), according to her only accounted for 1% of global trade. She felt that in order to sustain growth, job creation and inclusive development must be emphasised. Development encompasses other things besides trade including the burden to feed over 32 per cent of India’s poor who live under abject poverty - a concern that the WTO recognised. The Minister urged the members of the WTO to show the same urgency on food stockholding as the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) under the Bali Package. 

Development is at the centre of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), and many issues of importance for developing countries such as subsidies and non-tariff barriers that are not part of free trade agreements can be addressed through the WTO. “Trade negotiations need to refocus on multilateral agreements which recognise the legitimate concerns of the developing countries”, said Smt. Sitharaman. 

Mr. Roberto Azevedo, Director General, World Trade Organisation (WTO) said that the Bali Package will deliver on the development front by enhancing developing countries’ ability to integrate into the world economy. Mr. Azevedo also highlighted India’s contribution to the multilateral trading system. 

Mr. Azevedo noted that the benefits of TFA will be visible to Indian industry as competitiveness and exports will receive a boost once members ratify the agreement. The TFA will bring down trade costs by 15 per cent and bolster south-south trade. He added that the remaining issues under the DDA will need to be refocused before the Ministerial Conference in Nigeria at the end of the year. 

Mr. Azevedo also added that development has been made a priority as the development dimension is crucial in balancing the global trading system. He stated that WTO provides developing and least-developed countries a seat in the rule-making table as they are not included in the current regional and mega-regional trade agreements. 

Earlier welcoming the participants to the session, Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) stated that the expectations from the WTO in delivering on the development front were high. He noted that twelve years of negotiations have resulted in the Bali Package, an important albeit small part of the Doha Development Round’s initial ambition to rebalance the global trading system. Much more needs to be done very quickly. 

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JBIC Survey Ranks India as No. 1 Destination for Future Investments 

In July 2014, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) conducted a survey of 1000 companies for Japanese manufacturing sector. Based on this research, India has been ranked as the No.1 destination for future investments followed by Indonesia (ranked No.2) and China (ranked No.3).

In October 2014, the number of Japanese companies in India had reached 1209, which is 13% higher over the same period last year with a CAGR of 13.67% (for the last five years (2010 to 2014)). 

Some Japanese companies are seriously contemplating their future investment plans in India amounting to about Rs 75,000 crores (approx. US$12 billion) in next 2-3 years. 

During the period June 2014 to September 2014, FDI inflow from Japan amounted to US$ 618 million against US$ 273 million for the corresponding period in 2013. FDI inflow of US$103.14 million took place in October 2014. 

The Government has set up Japan Plus, a special management team, to facilitate Japanese investors. The team is actively interacting with Japanese companies and handholding them through various approval processes, as and when required. Also, the issues related to the State Government of Rajasthan concerning Sojitz, working for Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), has been resolved. 

One of the mandates of Japan Plus is to help develop Japanese Integrated Industrial Parks. For this, discussions are going on with Japanese companies and the State Governments concerned. 

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Tickets for Republic Day Parade-2015 Still Available 

The tickets for Republic Day Celebrations – 2015 are available at the designated sale counters set up by Ministry of Defence at different locations in Delhi. The total number of tickets available for the general public this year is the same as last year. Earlier a section in the media had reported that the Government has reduced the number of tickets of Republic Day Parade for general public due to security reasons. It is clarified that the report regarding reduction of number of tickets is totally incorrect and misleading. 

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24th ADM RD Katari Memorial Lecture at New Delhi 

The 24th Admiral RD Katari Memorial Lecture titled `A National Security Strategy for India and the Maritime Domain` was delivered this evening (16 Jan 15) by Shri Shyam Saran, Chairman, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) and Chairman, National Security Advisory Board (NSAB)onwards at Dr DS Kothari Auditorium, DRDO Bhawan, Dalhousie Raod, New Delhi. The speaker, Shri Shyam Saran, is a career diplomat whose career spanned 34 years in the IFS and held the post of Foreign Secretary from 2004 to Sep 2006. 

Admiral RK Dhowan, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC Chief of the Naval Staff presided over the function. Mrs Lalita Ramdas daughter of Late Admiral RD Katari, Admiral L Ramdas along with a large number of dignitaries from the Ministry of Defence, the academia, think tanks and the diplomatic corps attended the function. 

Background 

Navy Foundation (NF) is an organization of retired naval officers with the Chief of Naval Staff as its President. The 15 branches of NF pan India, apart from networking the veterans` community to harness their efforts towards nation building, also undertake philanthropic work and conduct activities to generate awareness on maritime issues. Towards this, the Navy Foundation Delhi Chapter conduct an annual lecture by eminent speakers in memory of late Admiral RD Katari. 

Admiral RD Katari, the first Indian to be Chief of the Naval Staff (22 Apr 1958 to 04 Jun 1962) is widely admired and much loved for the challenge he undertook at the young age of 47 years to integrate the best practices of Royal Navy and lay the foundation of modern Indian Navy. He is also remembered for his pioneering work and strategic vision in providing the fledgling Indian Navy a firm push towards self-reliance and indigenisation, and in formulating the blue print for the strong force the Indian Navy has become today. Admiral RD Katari settled in Secunderabad after his retirement (at the age of 51 years) and served as the Chairman of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) from Dec 62 to May 64. Thereafter, he was appointed as India`s Ambassador to Burma for five years. 

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Landing Craft Utility Ship for Indian Navy Launched at Grse 

The third ship of the Landing Craft Utility(LCU) Mk IV project, Yard 2094, for the Indian Navy was launched at an impressive ceremony at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE), Kolkata here today, in the presence of Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba, Vice Chief of the Naval Staff and Smt. Reena Lanba. 

Launching of Yard 2094, designed in-house and built by GRSE for the Indian Navy is yet another milestone in India’s quest for self-reliance in sophisticated shipbuilding. 

Invocations from Atharva Veda were recited in Sanskrit and English at the start of the launch. Smt. Lanba named the ship as ‘LCU L53’ and wished the ship good luck before launch. 

LCU L53 is the third vessel in the series of eight Landing Craft Utility Ships being built by GRSE for the Indian Navy. The first LCU was launched on March 12, and the second on September 23, last year. These ships will play significant role in transportation of Main Battle Tanks, Armoured Vehicles and Troops of the Indian Army during amphibious operations. 

The ship will be fitted with an advanced Integrated Platform Management System for remote control of propulsion, auxiliary and power generating equipment. Two CRN-91 indigenous 30 MM guns to provide fire support during operations will also be fitted onboard. The ship can be deployed for maritime roles like maritime security, beaching/un-beaching, humanitarian relief operations and evacuation from distant islands, search and rescue operations and peace-keeping missions. 

Speaking on the occasion, Vice Admiral Lanba commended the contributions made by GRSE towards meeting the Navy’s growing requirements of state-of-art warships. He also lauded GRSE and its team of designers, engineers, technicians, quality controllers and the members of Warship Overseeing Team for their untiring efforts in successfully achieving this significant milestone of launching of Yard 2094. 

He appreciated the efforts put in by GRSE and other private sector industries for their valuable contributions towards achieving Indian Navy’s dream of transformation from a “Buyers Navy” to a “Builders Navy”.


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WTO should be more responsive to needs of developing and least-developed countries: Nirmala Sitharaman WTO should be more responsive to needs of developing and least-developed countries: Nirmala Sitharaman Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 7:46 PM Rating: 5

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