India-EU FTA: Time for a Fundamental Rethink?

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | October 7, 2015

India and EU would soon resume negotiations on the stalled India-EU free trade agreement. In a joint statement issued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in New Delhi on Monday, both leaders expressed their “strong commitment to the EU-India Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement and committed to bring about a resumption of the negotiations as soon as possible.” With political leadership now backing the proposed agreement, the trade negotiators will sit down at the table again to thrash out the remaining issues.

The joint statement was released just hours before the US, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim nations reached…

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Decoding India’s New Model BIT (V)

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | September 17, 2015

The new model BIT lay outs detailed procedural rules on the appointment of arbitrators, conduct of arbitral proceedings, transparency, award, costs and related matters. For instance, an early review mechanism has been introduced to prevent frivolous claims based on weak grounds. Further, to ensure arbitrators are impartial and free of any conflict of interest, strict disclosure norms have been introduced under which arbitrators will have to disclose in writing their existing or past relationships with any of the parties. Similarly, all documents (except confidential information) related to investment dispute will be made available to public and the tribunals shall make logistical arrangements to facilitate…

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Decoding India’s New Model BIT (IV)

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | August 21, 2015

India’s new model BIT contains binding obligations on investors concerning their conduct in the host state. The mandatory obligations on investors and home state were completely missing in the existing model as well as previously concluded BITs by India. This is a new approach adopted by India to address the balance of rights and responsibilities of investors because Indian BITs usually do not impose obligations on the part of foreign investors or the home state.

The new model states that the provisions on investors’ obligations have been introduced to ensure responsible business conduct by investors besides enhancing the contribution of investments to “inclusive growth and…

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Will the Greek Bailout Deal Work?

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | August 4, 2015

On Monday (August 3) when the Athens Stock Exchange reopened after a five-week shutdown, the share price index plunged by more than 23 percent in early trading. The banking index covering Greece’s biggest banks witnessed the largest decline, down to its 30 percent daily limit. This was the worst stock market bloodbath in decades despite an ongoing ban on short selling in Greek markets. Only in 1987, its share index collapsed by 15 percent in the wake of Wall Street stock market crash, popularly known as “Black Monday.”

The massive sell-off on Monday was partially triggered by the release of three surveys which revealed that…

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The Greeks Have Spoken: What Happens Next?

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | July 7, 2015

The Greek citizens have delivered a resounding ‘No’ to bailout conditions demanded by creditors in a referendum held on 5th July. The referendum was announced by Greece’s Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, on 27th June after bailout talks with the creditors failed. The referendum asked voters to decide “whether to accept the outline of the agreement submitted by the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund at the Eurogroup of 25/06/15.”

The government-backed ‘No’ side won with 61.31 percent of votes, while ‘Yes’ got the remaining 38.69 percent. Further, not a single electoral district of Greece voted for ‘Yes’. No one in…

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