ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Regional Trade Agreements and Improved Market Access in Developed Countries: The Evidence

The United States and the European Union have in recent years initiated negotiations on a large number of bilateral and regional trade agreements. These agreements tend to push trade liberalisation much further than is possible under the multilateral trade regime. These rtas also include rules which are likely to reduce the policy space for developing countries. This paper investigates whether signing of an rta with a developed country necessarily leads to increased market access in that country. The findings suggest that this is not always so. But, on the other hand, developing countries face stricter intellectual property regimes, aggressive environment and labour clauses and extremely restrictive bilateral investment treaties, which impose some obvious and serious costs on the industrialisation process of developing countries. It concludes that the gains from north-south rtas are doubtful while there will be some obvious costs.

Does a Free Trade Agreement with ASEAN Make Sense?

In the short run, India is not going to benefit from the free trade agreement with the Association of South-East Asian Nations that was finalised recently. ASEAN is not a natural trading partner of India, and, unlike China, India has not established close relations with the region. But the agreement may make strategic sense in the long run, especially if India wishes to become a hub for services exports.

Commodity Price Volatility and Special Safeguard Mechanisms

This paper takes a detailed look at the special safeguard mechanism for agriculture proposed in the Doha round of the World Trade Organisation and analyses its usefulness for developing countries. It also explores how the concept of a special agricultural safeguard has evolved in the present round of negotiations and the country positions on SSMs. The paper then proposes a price-trigger-based SSM instrument which is consistent with the goals spelt out in the Doha development agenda and satisfies most of the desired features of a special safeguard instrument.

Financial Liberalisation in India

The Indian experience with reform in the financial sector indicates that, inter alia, there are three important outcomes of such liberalisation. First, there is increased financial fragility, which the "irrational boom" in India's stock market epitomises. Second, there is a deflationary macroeconomic stance, which adversely affects public capital formation and the objectives of promoting employment and reducing poverty. Finally, there is a credit squeeze for the commodity producing sectors and a decline in credit delivery to rural India and small-scale industry. The belief that the financial deepening that results from liberalisation would in myriad ways neutralise these effects has not been realised.

Ministerial Meet: Doomed to Failure?

There are far too many outstanding issues relating to the Doha Round that have to be solved during the run-up to the Hong Kong ministerial meeting of the WTO in December. The sheer number that will be on the agenda for this meeting make it a likely candidate for a failure.

Volatility in the Stock Market in India and Foreign Institutional Investors

The influence of FIIs on the movement of the Sensex became apparent after the 2004 general elections in India when the sudden reversal of FII flows triggered a panic reaction which resulted in very high volatility in the Indian stock market. During this period, the Sensex experienced the worst single-day decline in its history. In the three months between April and June 2004, the index declined by about 17 per cent. And it all started because of the selling pressure exerted by the FIIs after the elections when they became less confident about the continuation of the reform process in India. FII control in the companies that constitute the Sensex is very high. Data on the shareholding pattern show that the FIIs are currently the most dominant non-promoter shareholder in most of the Sensex companies and they also control more tradable shares of these companies than any other investor group.

Foreign Portfolio Investment in Indian Equity Markets-Has the Economy Benefited

Equity Markets Has the Economy Benefited? Parthapratim Pal The mainstream argument that the entry of foreign portfolio investors wilt boost a country's stock market and economy does not seem to he working in India. The influx of Flls has failed to invigorate the stock markets. The supposed linkage effects have not worked in the way the mainstream model predicted. Instead there has been increased uncertainty and scepticism about stock markets. The view that the influx of portfolio investment leads to economic development is not supported by this study.

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