Azevedo’s Resignation Amid Growing Irrelevance of WTO

By Biswajit Dhar | Briefing Paper # 38 | May 25, 2020

The decision of the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Roberto Azevedo, to demit office a year before the expiration of his second term, confirms the long-held view that the multilateral trading system is facing an existential crisis. This rules-based trading system was established by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) to create an open and a non-discriminatory trading system in order to raise standards of living, ensure full employment and support steadily growing volume of real income and effective demand.

However, there have been unmistakable signs…

It’s Time for a Solidarity Tax

By Kavaljit Singh | Briefing Paper # 37 | May 15, 2020

Last month, Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra proposed a Solidarity Tax to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposed solidarity tax would be temporarily imposed on wealthy and super-rich Peruvians earning more than US$3,000 a month. The tax authorities are expected to raise 300 million soles (US$88 million) per month in additional revenue from the solidarity tax.

Targeted at the wealthier sections of society whose livelihoods have been less disrupted by government-enforced lockdown restrictions, the proposed solidarity tax is inspired by the principle of solidarity. “It important for…

COVID-19: A Triple Whammy for Emerging Market and Developing Economies

By Kavaljit Singh | Briefing Paper # 36 | April 23, 2020

Even though the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the US and European Union has captured the world’s attention, one should not lose sight of the pandemic and its associated health, economic and financial stability challenges in the rest of the world. As the COVID-19 pandemic advances globally, Africa and South Asia are witnessing a surge in the number of new cases lately, and these regions could soon become its next epicenters in the coming weeks. The emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) are facing a…

COVID-19: Challenges Before the G20 Trade Ministers

By Biswajit Dhar | Briefing Paper # 35 | April 5, 2020

Trade Ministers from G20 countries met on 30th March, days after the heads of states and governments of the major economies for an Extraordinary Summit meeting, to take a coordinated stand in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In these extraordinary times, the Trade Ministers agreed that the “international community to step up cooperation and coordination to protect human life and lay the foundations for a strong economic recovery and a sustainable, balanced, and inclusive growth.”

In times when the global economic growth is adversely impacted on account of…

Coronavirus Triggers Large Capital Outflows from India

By Kavaljit Singh | Policy Brief # 6 | April 3, 2020

In March 2020, foreign investors pulled out a record Rs.1182 billion (US$16 bn) from the Indian financial markets as the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic triggered panic selling across all emerging markets. As per official data released by the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL), foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) and foreign institutional investors (FIIs) together pulled out Rs.619 bn ($8.3 bn) from the equity segment and Rs.603 bn ($8.1 bn) from the debt segment in March (see Table 1).

The capital outflows from the Indian markets in March alone were larger…