Monday, 27 March 2017

Trade Facilitation Agreement of WTO

Consequent upon the ratification of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of World Trade Organization (WTO) by India in April, 2016, a National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF) under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary has been constituted. The TFA would necessitate simplification of border management procedures and adoption of new transparency measures, all of which are expected to reduce the transaction cost of imports and exports and facilitate smooth movement of goods across borders. As of now 112 members have ratified TFA, including India (list attached). 

India tabled the “Concept Note for an initiative on Trade Facilitation in Services” at the WTO to facilitate discussion among WTO members with an aim to achieve an outcome. India’s proposal on Trade Facilitation in Services and the US visa fee hike for H-1B and L-1 categories are different issues and are being taken up separately at the appropriate level. 

Government of India has been consistently taking up the issue of tightening norms for skilled foreign workers with the Government of UK at the highest levels. The UK Government has been urged to not accept the recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) in the interest of the bilateral trade in services between India and the UK. 

This information was given by the Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply in Lok Sabha today. 


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