Twelfth WTO Ministerial Conference: Current Issues and Future Challenges

By Biswajit Dhar | Briefing Paper # 47 | November 16, 2021

The 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) of the World Trade Organization is being convened in Geneva at the end of this month, a year and a half after it was scheduled to be held in Kazakhstan. MC12 is being held at an important juncture when the global trade scenario is quite upbeat. Recent WTO estimates show that global trade volumes could expand by 11 percent in 2021, and by over 4 percent in 2022, and could stabilise at a level higher than the pre-COVID trend.

The buoyancy in trade volumes has…

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Why Emerging Markets Must Remain Wary of a Taper Tantrum 2.0

By Kavaljit Singh | Briefing Paper # 46 | September 24, 2021

On September 22, the US Federal Reserve signaled plans to start reducing its large-scale asset purchases – a process known as tapering – this year and hinted at raising interest rates as early as next year. The formal announcement on tapering could come at the next meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) scheduled in early November if no major risks materialize and the Fed achieves its maximum employment and price stability goals. “If progress continues broadly as expected, the Committee judges that a moderation in the pace of…

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Can the “Third Way” Foster Technology Transfer to Fight COVID-19 Globally?

By Biswajit Dhar | Briefing Paper # 45 | March 8, 2021

In October 2020, India and South Africa had made a joint proposal to the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) seeking a temporary waiver of the obligations of Members to implement or apply four forms of intellectual property rights (IPRs) for the prevention, containment, or treatment of COVID-19.

The ostensible rationale behind the proposal was to free COVID-related medicines, vaccines, and medical products from the encumbrances of IPRs, which would allow these critical products to be made available to humanity at…

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Reimagining DFIs in the Times of COVID-19 and Beyond

By Kavaljit Singh | Briefing Paper # 44 | January 28, 2021

It is widely anticipated that a new development finance institution would be announced by India’s Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, as part of her budget proposals to be presented on February 1, 2021. The Union Budget 2021 offers the central government an extraordinary opportunity to address India’s economic and financial challenges amidst the economic slump triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The upcoming budget has the potential to lay down a roadmap for a people-centered recovery by providing immediate relief measures to those who have lost livelihoods and stimulating the economy by…

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Corporate-owned Banks: An Idea Whose Time Has Not Yet Come

By Kavaljit Singh | Briefing Paper # 43 | November 30, 2020

On November 20, the Reserve Bank of India released the Report the Internal Working Group (IWG) that reviewed the existing licensing and regulatory guidelines relating to ownership, control, and corporate structure of private sector banks in India. The working group’s most significant but contentious recommendation is to allow large corporate and industrial houses to promote and run banks in India. “Large corporate/industrial houses may be permitted to promote banks only after necessary amendments to the Banking Regulations Act, 1949”, states the report.

Since the nationalization of 14 large…

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