Network paper 2: ir-| Bilateral, regional and global groups and agreements involving India and/or affecting India`s interests India is a founding member of GATT (1947), actively participated in the Uruguay Round negotiations and is a founding member of the WTO. India strongly supports the multilateral approach to trade relations and grants most-favoured-nation treatment to all its trading partners, including some non-WTO members. India actively participated in the last Ministerial Conference in Singapore. Within the framework of the WTO, India is committed to ensuring that sectors where developing countries enjoy a comparative advantage are properly open to international trade and that the provisions on special and differential treatment of developing countries under the various WTO agreements are translated into specific applicable waivers in order to facilitate the development efforts of developing countries. India believes that the multilateral system itself would benefit from adequately reflecting those concerns of developing countries in order to provide the necessary impetus for developing countries to catch up with their partners in developed countries. The meeting is also gaining in importance, as countries like the United States and China increase import tariffs on other`s products, create a trade war situation and pose a threat to global trade. India is likely to ratify the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which aims to relax customs rules to speed up trade flows. India has already made great strides in integrating into a globalized trade order, even with an overall income of $430 or $1,090 for low- and middle-income economies, with a per capita GNP of nearly $340 (which is low even for general income levels of $430 and $1,090 for low- and middle-income economies). It believed that the multilateral trading system itself was likely to gain credibility and acceptance if sectors with a comparative advantage for developing countries were liberalized at an early stage, if they were not denied justified market access, and if developing countries had sufficient time and resources to catch up with their trading partners in industrialized countries.
To that end, we believe that concerns of particular interest to developing countries should be addressed at an early stage and that the provisions on special and differential treatment of developing countries in WTO agreements should be transformed into specific and enforceable waivers. This is the reasoning that has given impetus to significantly reduce the negative list of imports and to expand the freely importable list. At present, about 6,647 freely importable items; 58 items are prohibited, 168 items are channelled and notified by India to the WTO (Notification No. WT/BOP/N/24 of 22 May 1997), certain goods in 2,714 tariff headings at the eight-digit level of the Indian tariff classification are limited for balance of payments reasons in accordance with Article XVIII:B of the GATT, and certain goods contained in approximately 600 tariff headings are limited under Articles XX and/or XXI of the GATT, both categories being non-additive. Compared to 1.4.96, where the share of restricted items was 37%, the value for 1.4.1997 is only 32%. There is a 5% drop for restricted items, while there is an increase of 488 items in the free list….