Brexit is Finally Happening

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | December 12, 2017

After months of dilly-dallying on negotiating the Brexit deal, Britain is finally leaving the European Union. Last week, the UK and the European Union reached a deal on several contentious issues, thereby paving the way for Brexit negotiations to move on to a second phase. On December 8, 2017, British Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced the “breakthrough” at an early morning press conference in Brussels.

In many important ways, the “breakthrough” has laid to rest all speculation that Brexit might never actually happen. The stalled Brexit talks had led to widespread speculation that Britain may never leave the EU….

Read More |

EU-India Summiteering

By Shalini Bhutani | Commentary | October 16, 2017

The 14th Summit between the European Union (EU) and India was held in Delhi, India on 6th October 2017. This was a summit that showed signs of the current changes within EU itself coming to bear on its approach with other countries. EU is keen to have an FTA with India as it prepares to lose a member country (after the British exit from EU) in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, UK is itself eager to have an FTA with India after it steps out of the EU. So Brussels and London are both vying for a trade deal with New Delhi. EU is also…

Read More |

Has Demonetization Achieved its Stated Objectives?

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | September 13, 2017

On August 30, 2017, the Reserve Bank of India released its Annual Report for 2016-17 which revealed that 98.8 percent of scrapped currency notes have come back into the Indian banking system between November 8, 2016 – when the demonetization was announced – and June 30, 2017. This mind-blowing statistics has put a serious question mark over the efficacy of demonetization move because it was anticipated by the government that a large portion of scrapped currency notes might not come back into the banking system.

On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetization move under which high-value currency notes of…

Read More |

Why State Governments Must Engage with RCEP

By Shalini Bhutani | Commentary | August 3, 2017

India played host to the 19th Round of talks for the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) from 17-28th July 2017. The talks were held in Hyderabad – the state capital of Telangana, over 1,500 kms from the political capital in New Delhi. But the moot question is – are all the States in the country united in their support of the Centre’s push for new rules of ‘free trade’ in this mega-regional free trade agreement (FTA)?

The Kerala state government was the first to raise its concern about the adverse impact of the RCEP on the agriculture sector. But what about other state…

Read More |

Why India Should Rethink Its Approach to RCEP Negotiations

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | July 18, 2017

The 19th round of negotiations for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will be hosted by India in Hyderabad from 18-28 July 2017. About 700 officials from 16 member-countries of RCEP would gather at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre to thrash out new rules for cross-border trade and investment with the aim of deepening regional economic integration.

The RCEP is a proposed mega regional trade pact being negotiated between ASEAN and their 6 FTA partner-countries (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand) since 2012. It covers a wide range of issues including trade in goods, trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, competition policy,…

Read More |