The Pitfalls of FDI in Multi-Brand Retailing in India

By Shekar Swamy | Briefing Paper # 3 | October 2011

There is a growing pressure on policymakers from foreign governments and big retailers to permit foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail in India. At present, India allows 51 percent FDI in single-brand stores (e.g., Apple) and 100 percent FDI in cash & carry and wholesale trading. The retail trading by foreign multi-brand retailers (e.g., Wal-Mart Stores) is prohibited under the current regulatory regime.

The Committee of Secretaries has recently recommended that the sector be opened, with some riders that are easy to meet….

Protecting Investors’ Rights: An Assessment of EU’s New Mandate on International Investments

By Burghard Ilge and Kavaljit Singh | Briefing Paper # 4 | October 2011

On 12th September 2011, the General Affairs Council of the European Union (EU) officially approved negotiating mandate for investment protection measures under the proposed free trade agreements with India, Singapore and Canada. The secretive manner in which the negotiating mandate was approved raises several legitimate questions about the entire process.

The new negotiating mandate specifically proposes investor-to-state dispute settlement provisions (in addition to state-to-state). This remains highly contentious because it gives special rights to investors to completely bypass the domestic legal system and seek…

Why We Need a Financial Transaction Tax: A Proposal for the G20

By Kavaljit Singh | Briefing Paper # 5 | October 2011

At the forthcoming G20 Summit (Cannes, 3-4 November 2011), the summit leaders are expected to address several policy issues concerning world economy and financial markets, many of which remained unresolved since the Toronto Summit in June 2010. Against the backdrop of a weak global economy and the ongoing eurozone sovereign debt crisis, G20 leaders will have to take some hard decisions. Failure to do so would undermine the effectiveness and credibility of G20 as the “premium forum” for international economic cooperation.

One of the key policy issues to be tackled…

The India-EU FTA and its Implications on India’s Food and Farm Sector

By Shalini Bhutani | Factsheet # 1 | August 2011

Through this trade agreement, EU is seeking to cut India’s tariffs down to zero or near zero levels for 90% of agricultural products. This will clear the way for EU members to dump their cheap subsidised agricultural products in India. With domestic subsidies and price controls that may be cut, the unorganised sector is particularly vulnerable. According to the FAO, India and Bangladesh faced the largest number of import surges of agriculture products in Asia over a 25 year period. The India-EU FTA would come in the way of applying special safeguard measures against that. Meanwhile,…

India-EU FTA: Policy Implications of Unfettered Investment Flows

By Kavaljit Singh | Briefing Paper # 2 | June 2011

The European Commission (EC) is seeking an expansive mandate to negotiate on investment issues on the behalf of the European Union. In its recommendations to the European Council, the EC sought modifications in the negotiating directives for the proposed free trade agreement with India. If these recommendations are accepted, the EC would pursue comprehensive cross-border investment liberalization and investment protection provisions under the trade agreement with India. The EC document calls for the “progressive abolition of restrictions on investment, with the aim to ensure the highest level of market access.”

The EC recommendations contain several alarming proposals which should receive public scrutiny both in Europe and…