Under the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), up to 2003, 0% tariffs will be calculated on 217 computer products subject to the growth of Indian international trade, which, as a WTO member, is governed by a number of important agreements such as subsidies and countervailing agreements, GATS, SPS , TRIPS, TRIMS, agreements on agriculture and textiles. The Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation was recently established with 13 other countries in the region. The Association`s Charter was adopted in March 1997. Economic cooperation must take place in the areas of trade facilitation, promotion and liberalization, promotion of foreign investment, scientific and technological cooperation, tourism, the free movement of individuals and service providers, and the development of infrastructure and human resources. An enabling clause to identify other areas of cooperation is also included. India has also signed sub-regional agreements with Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Bhutan, most recently with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Details of the agreement, known as BISTEC, are being worked out. TRIMS, negotiated during the Uruguay Round, applies to measures affecting trade in goods. This agreement stipulates that no member may apply a measure prohibited by Article III of the GATT (national treatment) or by Article XI (quantitative restrictions). Members will therefore not apply any discriminatory action against foreign products or resulting in quantitative restrictions. c. Cancellation or impairment of GATT benefits in 1994 by an increase in subsidies.
These subsidies may be subject to countervailing measures, such as the institution of countervailing duties or anti-dumping duties. These can only be implemented in a transparent manner and a sunset period should be set. The Sunset clause under the agreement provides that a compensatory measure must be lifted after five years, unless it is established that the continuation of the measure is necessary to avoid the persistence or reappearance of subsidies and damages. India has signed bilateral agreements with two neighbouring countries, Bhutan and Nepal, to give them preferential access. More limited agreements have been signed with Bangladesh, which grants India`s PSAP agreements with least developed countries, and with Myanmar. Commonwealth preferences will continue to be extended to Mauritius, Tonga and Seychelles. The main objective of what I have tried to say is that the S-D offers no use, relief or value to developing countries in their position in different agreements. If the intention was that these provisions would not have any value for developing countries, I would propose to remove them.