The EU and India in Search of a Partnership
Chapter 8: Oh East is East, and West is West, but What if the Twain Shall Meet?
8. Oh East is East, and West is West, but What if the Twain Shall Meet? When Rudyard Kipling wrote his poem entitled The Ballad of East and l West over a hundred years ago he probably would have expressed considerable disbelief in what is being contemplated for the economies of India and Europe - a broad-based melding of an eastern and a western market. For many, his sentiment would hold true today. Given the hurdles one can imagine, even contemplating an India-European Union trade agreement may seem like folly. In this book, however, we have attempted to answer the question posed in our chapter title's mangling of Kipling's words; but What If the twain shall meet? What if it could be agreed that the largest developed country market will be joined to the second largest developing country market? The answer is germane not only to India and the European Union, but the rest of the world as well. When preferential trade agreements were sanctioned in the GATT2, it was never contemplated that an entity with the trade diversion potential of and India-EU agreement would be created - or one that could garner efficiencies in economies of scale that might well prove unassailable over the long run. In some ways, an India-EU agreement is a good substitute for what could be achieved by global liberalization of trade. Given the transaction costs and vested interests associated with the WTO's 150-plus members negotiating, meaningful multilateral liberalization looks increasingly like an impossible task....
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