An “interview()”:http://www.lexpress.mu/display_article.php?news_id=10397 in L’Express (Mauritius) with the Indian foreign minister in which he describes the construction of a ‘trilateral’ grouping that he says underwrote the success of the G-20 in the WTO negotiations at Cancún. Sinha refers to India’s intention to expand it’s international technical assistance and to reduce its tariffs and non-tariff barriers—although through the creation of a regional ‘free trade’ agreement in South Asia: low-impact trade liberalization. Difficult to know what credence to give the IBSA ‘trilateral’. It may be a signal of some fundamental changes in the distribution of international economic power (toward the ‘South’). But it may not endure. IBSA seems to have been formed out of the ambition of each of the participating countries to have an influence in global affairs that reflects, somehow, the dominance that each country has in its own region. But how does the coalition promote that goal? Does the goal itself permit the sort of cohesiveness that coalitions need really to influence the direction of global institutions like WTO or IMF or to play a role in global security affairs?
Peter Gallagher is student of piano and photography. He was formerly a senior trade official of the Australian government. For some years after leaving government, he consulted to international organizations, governments and business groups on trade and public policy.
He teaches graduate classes at the University of Adelaide on trade research methods and the role of firms in trade and growth and tweets trade (and other) stuff from @pwgallagher