TWN Info Service on Trade and WTO Issues (July08/36)
24 July 2008
Third World Network

Trade: Indian SMEs will be hit by NAMA proposals, say industry leaders
Published in SUNS #6524 dated 24 July 2008

Geneva 23 July (Martin Khor) -- Leaders of Indian domestic industries who have come to the WTO during the present week of talks have voiced strong concerns over the demands made by developed countries in the negotiations on non agricultural market access now taking place at the WTO.

They warned that if the proposals are adopted, India's small and medium sized enterprises in sectors such as chemicals, textiles & clothing, industrial machinery and electronics and electrical components as well as auto and auto components would be hit hard.

The Indian industrialists are especially worried about the developed countries' demands on three areas of negotiations - sectorals, anti concentration and re-manufactured goods.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has sent a delegation to the WTO for the week. It includes members from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), and the Automotive Components Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA). The delegation is holding talks with industry associations from EU, US and South Africa among others.

Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General of the CII said that in the meeting with the counterpart associations, the CII delegation has indicated their concerns on these three critical areas of NAMA negotiations as well as in the area of services.

Expressing CII's serious concern on sectoral negotiations, Banerjee said that the proposals on sectors proposed by US and other developed countries will adversely impact sensitive industrial sectors in India. He said small and medium enterprises in sectoral proposals on chemicals, textiles & clothing, industrial machinery and electronics and electrical components besides auto and auto components, would be the hardest hit. Banerjee added that many of the tariff lines, which were left unbound after the Uruguay Round were from many of these sensitive sectors.

On the proposals to include an anti-concentration clause in the flexibilities available for developing countries, Banerjee said Indian Industry is completely opposed to any caveats on flexibilities. He said that the present text does not reflect development imperatives of developing countries and therefore should be dropped from the texts.

While expressing CII's concern with negotiations on re-manufactured goods, Banerjee said that this issue should not figure at the multilateral level, since there is no consensus even on the definition of re-manufactured goods.

Banerjee also called for strong market access proposals from developed countries on services. He said the Services Signalling Conference must lead to meaningful trade liberalisation commitments in Services from developed countries, especially in two modes of supply of interest to developing countries, i. e. Mode I and Mode IV. +