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Deconstructing Service and Investment Negotiating Stance: A case study of India at WTO GATS and Investment Fora

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While India has gradually embraced a unilateral liberal policy on the limit of inward foreign investment in the country, its negotiating position on the same at the multilateral forum, i.e., WTO, is still comparatively defensive. The key question raised by the current analysis is, whether India is right to adopt a hard negotiating stand at WTO on investment issues, covered under GATS Mode 3 and Trade and Investment Negotiations. An associated concern is whether a softening of India’s present standpoint is expected in coming future. For this purpose, the current study explores the long-run co-integrating relationship between India’s FDI and economic growth, in addition to exploring their direction of causality applying Granger causality test. The obtained empirical results lead to the following observations. First, regarding the question of the justifiability of the Indian standpoint, it is observed that though foreign investment inflow in the country continues to benefit several sectors through backward and forward linkage effects, the role of FDI on overall growth has not been statistically significant. Second, it can be concluded from the findings of the Granger causality test that a number of foreign investors has targeted India in recent period, given the high growth rate witnessed by Indian economy even in the aftermath of the 2009 recession vis-à-vis other developing economies. We conclude that India’s present standpoint at WTO negotiations on investment reflects the uncertain trade-off between growth repercussion expectations from the incremental FDI inflows resulting from the additional multilateral commitments. Therefore, a quick transformation of the present negotiating standpoint is not expected in India’s case.

Affiliations: 1: a)Assistant Professor of Economics, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade New Delhi, ; 2: b)Associate Professor of Law, Centre for Financial Regulation and Economic Development Chinese University of Hong Kong, ; 3: c) Assistant Professor of Economics at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi,


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