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  • Author: Ana González, Euijin Jung
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: By refusing to fill vacancies in the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Appellate Body—the top body that hears appeals and rules on trade disputes—the Trump administration has paralyzed the key component of the dispute settlement system. No nation or group of nations has more at stake in salvaging this system than the world’s big emerging-market economies: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, and Thailand, among others. These countries have actively and successfully used the dispute settlement system to defend their commercial interests abroad and resolve inevitable trade conflicts. The authors suggest that even though the developing countries did not create the Appellate Body crisis, they may hold a key to unlock it. The Trump administration has also focused its ire on a longstanding WTO practice of giving these economies latitude to seek “special and differential treatment” in trade negotiations because of their developing-country status. The largest developing economies, which have a significant stake in preserving a two-step, rules-based mechanism for resolving trade disputes, could play a role in driving a potential bargain to save the appeals mechanism. They could unite to give up that special status in return for a US commitment to end its boycott of the nomination of Appellate Body members.
  • Topic: Development, Government, World Trade Organization, Developing World, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: China, Indonesia, India, South Korea, Brazil, North America, Mexico, Thailand, United States of America
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: The prospects for exploring seabed minerals, specifically rare earth elements (REEs) have risen courtesy technological innovations in the field of deep-sea exploration. REEs are identified as a group of 17 chemical elements in the periodic table, found relatively in abundance in the Earth’s crust. They share similar chemical and physical properties and are of vital use in a variety of sectors, including by military manufacturers and technology firms. The largest subgroup within the REEs are the 15 lanthanides. The two other elements being scandium and yttrium. Based on quantity, the lanthanides, cerium, lanthanum, and neodymium are the most produced rare earths elements. These elements earn the distinction of being ‘rare’ for their availability in quantities which are significant enough to support viable economic mineral development of the deposits. However, from a cost-effective point of view, they are not consumable. It is not economically viable to extract these elements for consumption purposes since they are not concentrated enough and remain thinly dispersed as deep as 6.4 kilometers underwater
  • Topic: Development, Bilateral Relations, Partnerships, Research, Mining, Trade
  • Political Geography: Japan, India, Asia
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Vastav Irava
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: In Financial Year (FY) 2019-20, the National Rural Drinking Water Mission (NRDWM) was restructured and subsumed into Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM). It is Government of India’s (GoI’s) flagship rural drinking water programme to provide functional tap connections to every household for drinking, cooking, and other domestic needs on a sustainable basis. Using government data, this brief reports on: Overall GoI allocations; Trends in releases and expenditures; Component-wise trends; and Progress on coverage.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Water, Infrastructure, Budget, Finance, Rural
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Monika Chansoria
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Japan Institute Of International Affairs (JIIA)
  • Abstract: Signing the Japan-India Vision Statement in Tokyo on 29 October 2018, the Prime Ministers of Japan and India reviewed cooperation on development of connectivity via quality infrastructure and capacitybuilding carried out bilaterally, as well as, with other partners. More so, the need to do this in an open, transparent and non-exclusive manner based on international standards, responsible debt financing practices, and in alignment with local economic and development strategies and priorities was highlighted.1 The synergy finds embodiment in collaborative projects between Japan and India in the Indo-Pacific region, especially in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Africa. In slightly over six months since this statement, Sri Lanka recently announced on 28 May 2019, its decision of entering into a trilateral partnership with India and Japan to develop a deepsea container terminal. The state-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) had been signed between the three countries to jointly develop the East Container Terminal (ECT) of the Colombo Port next to a $500-million Chineserun container jetty in Colombo harbor.
  • Topic: Development, Regional Cooperation, Infrastructure, Trade
  • Political Geography: Japan, South Asia, India, Sri Lanka
  • Author: Wallace Cheng, Clara Brandi
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Digitalisation is transforming the economy and redefining trade. Recently, members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have started to discuss how trade policies and rules should be adapted to address this transformation. For example, in January 2019, 76 WTO members announced the launch of “negotiations on trade-related aspects of electronic commerce”. The scope of these e-commerce negotiations is yet to be defined, but to ban tariffs on electronic trans­missions will certainly be on the priority list of WTO members such as the United States (US) and the European Union (EU). The idea of banning tariffs on electronic transmission originated at the WTO’s Ministerial Conference (MC) in 1998, when Members declared that they would “continue their current practice of not imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions”. This temporary moratorium on e-commerce tariffs needs to be regularly extended, requiring a decision made “by consensus”. Members have repeatedly extended the moratorium on tariffs on “electronic trans­missions”, most recently at the latest WTO MC in 2017. But the WTO e-commerce moratorium is increasingly disputed: First, while net exporters of digital products and services, typically industrialised countries, understand the tariff ban to apply to digital content, net importers interpret it as referring only to electronic carriers (e.g. CDs, electronic bits), which means that they regard themselves as permitted to impose customs duties on the content of online trade. Second, while net exporters like the US and the EU propose a permanent ban on e-commerce tariffs in order to provide greater certainty to consumers and business, arguing that the resulting revenue losses are small, net importers like India and South Africa underline that they suffer much greater revenue losses than industrialised countries and have to bear the brunt of the moratorium. Third, while industrialised countries argue that the ban on tariffs on electronic transmissions would reduce market distortions, developing countries are concerned that a permanent moratorium would limit their options to protect domestic products and services traded online. Fourth, the moratorium has stirred a debate about how to create a level playing field between domestic and foreign suppliers of digital products and services.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, World Trade Organization, Digital Economy
  • Political Geography: India, South Africa, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Rani Mullen
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: Since the turn of the century, India has continued to enlarge its development cooperation allocations and become a globally significant development cooperation partner. This brief analyzes India’s 2019-20 Union Budget for its development assistance allocations and, using IDCR’s development cooperation database, finds seven main trends in India’s development assistance allocations.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Foreign Aid, Budget, Banks
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Vastav Irava, Avani Kapur
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: In FY 2017-18, the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) was expanded and is now known as the National Rural Drinking Water Mission (NRDWM). It is Government of India’s (GoI) flagship rural drinking water mission to provide safe and adequate water for drinking, cooking, and other domestic needs on a sustainable basis. Using government reported data, this brief reports on: Allocations for NRDWM, Releases and expenditures, Component-wise trends, and Progress on coverage.
  • Topic: Development, Water, Infrastructure, Budget, Rural, Sanitation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Avani Kapur, Ritwik Shukla
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The Integrated Child Development Services is the Government of India’s (GoI’s) flagship programme aimed at providing basic education, health, and nutrition services for early childhood development. This brief uses government data to analyse ICDS performance along the following parameters: Allocations, releases, and expenditures; Component-wise trends; Human and physical resources; Coverage, and Outcome.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Government, Health, Budget, Children
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Ashwathy Anand, Ajai Sreevatsan, Persis Taraporevala
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: The newly elected federal Government of India (GoI) launched the Smart Cities Mission (SCM) in 2015 with the stated purpose of improving the governance and infrastructural deficiencies that plague Indian cities. The Mission categorically states that there is no one definition of a 'smart city' and implies infinite liberty for cities to self-define their understanding of 'smartness'. Towards demystifying the Mission, the researchers utilised government documentation from the 99 cities to answer one question-What constitutes a smart city in India.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Urbanization, Social Policy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Nimmi Kurian
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: India’s transition from being a recipient of aid to a donor makes for a feel-good story. The policy brief questions this rose-tinted rhetoric and argues that there is an urgent need to map and systematise the diversity of India’s engagement as an actor in this evolving space. What sort of normative choices and tensions are these likely to present for Indian diplomacy? At the end of the day, many of these issues will be fundamentally linked to how India perceives its role in the region and the world at large and how it chooses to engage with questions of benefit sharing, trade-offs and the allocation of risks and burdens. Outlining its development priorities and bringing greater clarity to conceptualising what foreign aid with Indian characteristics constitutes should be the first order of business that India needs to attend to, if it wants to stay ahead of the (lending) curve.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Foreign Aid, Currency
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia