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Commerce ministry to set up 4 new centres on trade, investment issues

Press Trust of India/New Delhi 17 Jul 17 | 08:24 PM

Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman

The commerce ministry on Monday said it is setting up four new centres to develop expertise for handling contemporary and future international trade related issue.

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Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that approval has been given to the proposal to set up four additional centres - Centre for Trade and Investment Law; Centre for Regional Trade; Centre for Trade-Related Capacity Building; and Centre for Trade Promotion.

"These centres are being formed to widen scope to better handle contemporary and future requirements like international trade law, regional studies, trade promotion and capacity building," she said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

Two of the centres - Centre for Trade and Investment Law and Centre for Regional Trade -- have already become operational this year.

These centres would help to expand the research capabilities of the centre for WTO studies under renamed Institution Centre for Research and International Trade (CRIT).

The objective of the CRIT is to influence international discourse on trade and investment issues in consonance with India's interest.

The centre for trade and investment law would create a dedicated pool of legal experts who can advise the government on trade and investment issues.

The centre for regional trade would analyse economic developments in different regions and assessing their implications for India.

Centre for trade-related capacity building would undertake training for government officials/stake holders of India.

Replying to a separate question, she said India so far has terminated bilateral investment treaties (BIT) with 58 countries.

"While approving the new Model BIT text in 2015, the government had also approved the proposal to terminate those out of total 83 existing BITs that India had signed with other countries, whose initial validity period had expired," she said.

India had along with the notice of termination, communicated its intention to re-negotiate a new treaty with the aforesaid countries, based on the new model BIT text.

"India has received response from number of these countries including Switzerland, Tajikistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Turkmenistan, Oman, Qatar, Belarus, Thailand, Zimbabwe, Armenia, Morocco who have come forward to renegotiate a new BIT," Sitharaman said.

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