India’s Trade in Maritime Transport Services Under the GATS Framework

Maritime transport services is the only services sector in which the multilateral negotiations failed during the Uruguay Round. Since a significant part of world trade volume is moved by sea, it is important that India and other maritime nations should actively participate in the GATS 2000 negotiations. Failure to do so has serious implications on the growth of world trade. This study examines the possibilities of liberalising trade in maritime transport services within the GATS framework. The study identifies the domestic and external barriers to India’s trade in maritime services and recommends a number of regulatory, institutional and other measures that would enhance the productivity and global competitiveness of the sector. India still is a small player in the global market for maritime services, but has the potential of increasing its share in world trade. The study also recommends that it is in India’s interest to actively participate in the ongoing GATS negotiations and push for the removal of external barriers to trade.