Time for a Reset: Aligning India’s Trade Negotiations Strategy with its ‘Vikas Bharat’ Vision

India’s stance in World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations has long been characterized by a cautious approach, marked by resistance to expanding the negotiating agenda. The country has consistently avoided discussions on new issues such as e-commerce, climate change, and investment facilitation. This reluctance has sometimes earned India the label of a “spoiler” in international trade talks. India’s trade negotiations strategy must keep pace with its desire to building a technology-driven economy and enhancing its global role, as outlined in its vision for “Viksit Bharat 2047”. While safeguarding policy flexibility remains crucial for traditional sectors like agriculture and fisheries, India’s status as a rising economic power—the world’s fifth-largest economy—requires a different approach. To fully tap into emerging fields like the digital economy and high-tech manufacturing, India must actively engage in WTO discussions. It is in India’s own interest to play a constructive role in shaping the evolving global regulatory framework in an era characterized by geoeconomics, disruptive technologies and environmental sustainability