Professor and Co-Director
Centre for International Economics
Department of Economics
University of Maryland
I first heard of Pradeep Mehta and CUTS years ago from my friend and guru, Professor Jagdish Bhagwati. Jagdish had met Pradeep at an UNCTAD conference in Midrand, South Africa in 1996 and, knowing that I came from Japiur, asked if I knew him. I did not at the time but was later happily surprised to find out that his father-in-law was our neighbour and he and my father had gone on morning walks for years during my stay in Jaipur!
Later, I met Pradeep at a Conference at Columbia University just prior to the ill-fated Seattle WTO ministerial and learned a great deal about CUTS and its activities through various publications he gave me. Since the issues CUTS had been addressing were close to my own heart, I quickly developed deep interest in its activities. Since then, I have visited the CUTS offices in Jaipur twice and also given speeches at events organised by them in Jaipur as well as Washington DC.
In a very short period, CUTS has turned into a leading advocate of developing country interests at the WTO. There are a few WTO related events of importance to developing countries on the international stage that do not have the CUTS presence these days. CUTS has done a remarkably great job of articulating the poor country’s interests and concerns on the subject of a link between trade and labour and trade and environmental standards. My heartiest congratulations to them!
I am pleased to know that CUTS is celebrating its 20th Anniversary and am sorry to miss the festivities. But I hope to be present in spirit (at least in the cyberspace) to witness the Conclave that is bound to be highly successful.