Distribution services: India and the gats 2000 negotiations.

This study examines India’s potential for expanding trade in distribution services within the GATS framework. It is part of the Ministry of Commerce project “Trade in Services: Opportunities and Constraints”. In the Uruguay Round, India did not make any commitments in distribution services. As of now, India is a small player in the global market for distribution services. However, there is significant potential for expanding both exports and imports. The study provides an analysis of the costs and benefits of opening up the retail sector to foreign direct investment. It highlights the importance of regulatory, structural and other reforms that would enhance the efficiency, productivity and global competitiveness of the sector. It identifies markets of export interest to India, entry barriers in those markets and recommends that India should actively participate in the ongoing GATS negotiations and push for the removal of external barriers to trade. I am confident that this paper will provide significant input to policy makers, industry associations and academicians working towards realising the potential of this sector.