Trade in land Transport Services: Railways

This study investigates the developments in rail transport sector, both globally and in India, in the context of the ongoing GATS 2000 negotiations. It finds that in spite of significant autonomous liberalisation, there is limited scope for multilateral liberalisation in rail transport services since many WTO member countries have not even bound the existing regime in their initial offers. Although Indian Railways is a public monopoly and hence there is currently limited scope for foreign investment, India was found to have export potential under Modes 4 and 3 in maintenance and repair of rail transport equipment and supporting services. The study suggests that India should therefore offer liberalisation commitments in these two sub-sectors of rail transport services and push for the removal of barriers in markets of export interest. It also points out that India can use liberalisation commitments in the WTO as a tool to implement appropriate domestic reforms.