‘Large number of countries support TFS proposal’

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NEW DELHI: A large number of WTO member countries are supporting in principle India’s proposal for negotiating a trade facilitation agreement (TFA) in services, a senior government official said today.

Additional Secretary in the Commerce Ministry Anup Wadhawan also said that India is pursuing this proposal in the WTO in a serious manner.

Without specifying the names of these countries, he said: “large number of countries have supported it in-principle”.

He was briefing the media after the conclusion of two-day workshop on TFS.

On the lines of the trade facilitation pact in goods, India has submitted a detailed proposal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to negotiate a trade facilitation pact in services.

It aims at liberalising rules for movement of professionals and other steps to reduce transaction costs to boost growth of the services sector.

Wadhawan said that like trade facilitation pact in goods would help in reducing barriers, TFS too would cut hurdles in promoting global trade in services.

India’s Ambassador Designate to the WTO, J S Deepak said that the workshop was useful as several experts shared their views and suggestions on ways to take the proposal forward.

World Bank supported the commerce ministry in organising this seminar.

When asked whether the proposal will become part of the forthcoming ministerial meeting in December at Argentina, Wadhawan said that the agenda has not been worked out yet.

On this, Deepak said that proposals are introduced in different fora and it will be discussed in the special session of the committee on trade and services in Geneva.