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Topic: India and WTO Speaker: Mr. Pradeep Apte
Mr. Pradeep Apte (Professor, Fergusson College, BMCC, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics) was invited to conduct a seminar on “India and WTO”. Mr. Apte is a consultant at the World bank and the World Trade Centre, India. He is also a member of Expert Group on State Finance Commissions for 13th Finance Commission Government of India. Sir is an author of many Research Papers and publications.
The world trade organization (WTO), successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), is an international organization designed to supervise and liberalize international trade. Ever since its existence i.e. on 1 January 1995, India has been its member.
Dr. Apte set the environment with an introduction of WTO and explaining its various model designing. Its basic functioning was the next on the list. It was quite interesting to know as to how WTO, being a forum for governments to negotiate trade agreements manages trade between its member nations with different tools like single undertaking approach, restrictions and barriers among others. Furthermore, Dr. Apte went about ameliorating student knowledge about General Agreement on Tariffs and Services (GATS) whereby emphasising on subsidies given by governments and its effect on equivalent tariffs basically in an agricultural sector of the country. Also talking about Indian acceptance to all this at different stages.
He was extremely impressive in analysing India’s stand on WTO ever since its existence and was largely successful in proving Indian ministers failure in the past which they attributed to be achievements. He gave a clear idea about the non-applicability of theories and convictions holding true within this fast changing economies around the world, thereby giving an extremely important lesson of understanding what international bodies’ means when they say something else.