16.8 ndian onom
India & OECD: India has got ‘enhanced Favoured Nation (MFN) treatment to India’s
engagement’ (since 2007) with the body ‘accession’ exports in the markets of other WTO Members.
(membership) to it is distinct—though it has National Treatment ensures that India’s products
potential in future leading to it. The accession once imported into the territory of other WTO
process to it is complex and longer as it involves a Members would not be discriminated vis-à-vis
series of examinations to assess a country’s ability the domestic products in those countries. MFN
to meet its OECD standards in a wide range of treatment principle ensures that members do not
policy areas. Meanwhile, India’s relationship discriminate among various WTO members. If
with the OECD has developed steadily since a member country believes that the due benefits
1998 (when it joined its Steel Committee)— are not accruing to it because of trade measures
since 2007 being its ‘Key Partner’. By early by another WTO member, which are violative of
2017, India used to participate as an Associate or WTO rules and disciplines, it may file a dispute
Participant in 21 OECD bodies and adheres to 9 under the Dispute Settlement Mechanism (DSM)
OECD legal instruments, making it an important of the WTO. There are also contingency provisions
contributor to several areas of importance—from built into WTO rules, enabling member countries
corporate governance to fiscal matters to nuclear to take care of exigencies like balance of payment
energy. Furthermore, India plays an active role in problems and situations like a surge in imports.
OECD’s regional activities in Asia together with In case of unfair trade practices causing injury to
co-operation on various international fora. the domestic producers, there are provisions to
impose Anti-Dumping or Countervailing duties
World trade organIzatIon (Wto) as provided for in the Anti-Dumping Agreement
and the Subsidies and Countervailing Measures
The World Trade Organization (WTO) came into Agreement.
being as a result of the evolution of the multilateral
Membership: The present membership19 of
trading system starting with the establishment
the WTO is 164. The last member to join was
of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
Afghanistan (March 2016) after a long negotiation
(GATT) in 1947. The protracted Uruguay Round
process of eleven years. Other than its members,
negotiations spanning the period 1986–1994, at present, there are 22 observer governments
which resulted in the establishment of the WTO, including Afghanistan, Holy See (Vatican), Iran,
substantially extended the reach of multilateral Iraq, Libya, Uzbekistan, etc. As per the guidelines
rules and disciplines related to trade in goods, of the WTO, observers (except Holy See) must
and introduced multilateral rules applicable to start accession negotiations within five years of
trade in agriculture (Agreement on Agriculture), becoming observers.
trade in services (General Agreement on Trade
in Services—GATS) as well as Trade Related Ministerial Conferences: Ministerial Conferences
Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). A separate are the highest decision-making body of the WTO
understanding on WTO dispute settlement which is to meet at least every two years. These
mechanism (DSU) and trade policy review conferences bring all members together which
mechanism (TPRM) was also agreed upon. are countries or separate customs territories.
During these conferences decisions on all matters
The WTO provides a rule based, transparent
can be taken. By now, there have been 11 such
and predictable multilateral trading system.
conferences of the body—the 11th Ministerial
The WTO rules envisage non-discrimination
in the form of National Treatment and Most 19. As per the WTO website, March 2018.