December 22, 2005, ZEE News
New Delhi, India

India’s policy of opening up the economy on its own and without any pressure from other countries may weaken its negotiating position at the WTO, former External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha has said.

“India through its liberalization is moving forward. Our average tariffs came down to 20 per cent. However, it is feared that this autonomous liberalization will weaken our negotiating position in the WTO,” he said, at a discussion under the banner of the Parliamentarians Forum on Economic Policy Issues (PAR-FORE).

Other MPs who took part in the discussions of PAR-FORE, constituted at the initiative of cuts international, were of the opinion that there has been a major change in the negotiating skills of India and other developing countries in comparison to the Uruguay round of GATT.

Sinha said, India was now better organised than the previous rounds.

“As the negotiations are getting complex we are increasingly improving our preparedness towards negotiations. Now, there is a greater interest both inside and outside the Parliament on trade related matters,” he said.

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