India has emerged as one of the top 25 leading exporters in the world along with countries such as Brazil Mexico and Malaysia, World Trade Organisation (WTO) chief Pascal Lamy has said.
“In addition to China, many new trading powers have emerged - Brazil, India, Mexico and Malaysia are all in the top 25 leading exporters’ table and all posted export growth of 15% or better in 2011,” Lamy said at the Brookings Dialogue here.
He said developing countries’ share has increased to about 50% compared to around 33% of the global trade in 2008.
Also trade as a share of the world GDP has risen from roughly 40% in 1980 to around 60% today. However, Lamy said that increasing use of non-tariff measures by different countries are impacting trade.
“...governments are implementing a variety of non-tariff measures which impact trade flows, sometimes profoundly,” he said on October 1.
These measures are regulatory in nature and are aimed at protecting consumers’ health and safety, he added. They include standards, testing and certification procedures.
“But removing these types of regulations is often neither desirable nor politically feasible,” Lamy added.The challenge before the WTO and other multilateral organisations is to reduce such discrepancies so that they do not conflict and unnecessarily restrict trade, he said.
Besides, regional or bilateral preferential trading arrangements may include elements not covered by the WTO agreements such as social and environmental standards, recognition of standards or qualifications.
“There is a danger that the regulatory elements of each accord may not only differ but clash, creating perhaps unintended but very real barriers to trade,” Lamy said.He emphasised the need for global co-operation to address these measures.