The slow progress of
negotiations at the World Trade Organization has had a gradual
shift in policy focus of countries from multilateralism
towards regionalism. As an outcome of this, regionalism has
registered a phenomenal growth worldwide. Over the last two
decades, the number of PTAs/RTAs has increased more than
fourfold and there are numerous comprehensive economic
partnership agreements under negotiation.
India’s response to this changing scenario has been slow and it
has not gained much from its own preferential agreements.
Besides this, compounding worries of receding exports in its
traditional markets due to competitive pressures from other
exporters has increased its trade deficit in the last few years.
This can be due to the preferential access given to competing
countries through PTAs.
Three of the most
important external trade agreements that are being negotiated,
from the point of significance for the Indian economy are the
EU-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership
agreement (TPP), and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment
Partnership agreement (TTIP). CUTS International with support
from Department For International Development (DFID) supported
Knowledge Partnership Programme (KPP) (through IPE Global, New
Delhi) has undertaken this study to bring out the effects of
these three mega Preferential Trade Agreement on the Indian
economy. The project will also look into the effects this
would have on poverty.