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

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Multitude of Mini-WTOs

Countries around the world are rushing to form bilateral and regional free trade agreements. While bilateral agreements make sense when participating countries are at the same level of development, there are problems when the members are vastly different. There is a danger in this trend of creating innumerable "mini-WTOs" because they are being used by the developed countries to get concessions that they have not been able to extract at the WTO. In some areas it has also become a strategy to soften the developing countries for a future expansion of obligations at the WTO. The smaller countries find that the promise of greater market access is very much an illusion. India should keep these experiences in mind as it searches for new free trade groupings to join.

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