NEW DELHI: Imagine a free trade agreement where each member state can decide the limit of its free trading capacity! Purists may turn up their noses but such agreements which India is now negotiating could provide a template for poorer countries to ensure they are not flooded with imported goods, destroying local industries in the process.
This was one of the ideas that came up at the sixth edition of the Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) in Dhaka over the weekend. With representatives of around 25 Indian Ocean bordering states in attendance, the idea was discussed and has found some acceptance although a lot more work will have to go into it for a consensus to develop.
“It explains why the IOC tends to focus on development, maritime HADR and related issues that do not force countries into taking positions they may be uncomfortable with,” says Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha (Retd), formerly of the Indian Navy and currently with the India Foundation think tank, who participated in the conference....Read More
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