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Trade and Energy Security: Legal Assessment of the Linkages and Implications for India

  • R. V. Anuradha
  • Piyush Joshi
Chapter

Abstract

Energy is an issue that is strategically important for all countries—whether they are inherently energy-surplus or energy-deficit countries. Most countries worldwide typically use export or import restrictions as well as pricing regulations in order to regulate energy production, consumption, and trade. The WTO framework does not address all the issues that arise in the context of trade in energy. Energy-related discussions are however likely to gain prominence under the WTO with the increasing presence of oil-producing countries becoming WTO members in the past decade. The Doha Ministerial Declaration also highlights the need for deeper discussions on several aspects impacting trade in energy. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) are two examples of legally binding instruments at the multilateral level that address the trade-energy linkage. Both the NAFTA and the ECT emerged in distinct and very specific economic contexts, and hence cannot be transposed into the WTO framework or that of a separate agreement on energy. Nevertheless, provisions of these instruments are instructive of the type of provisions that are likely to be negotiated in the event of any multilateral negotiations on energy. The domestic regulatory framework governing energy in India is largely liberalized. There has been a gradual dismantling of regulatory controls over the past decade, and an ongoing liberalization process which has significantly enhanced private participation in sectors such as electricity, petroleum, and natural gas. Disinvestment in public-sector enterprises is also another core area where significant progress has been made. Nevertheless, as will be discussed in this chapter, there are gaps between the Indian regulatory framework and the mandate specified under the NAFTA and the ECT. Any engagement in the trade and energy debate would need to be assessed from a strategic perspective of India as an energy-deficit country, whose enterprises are gaining significant interests in export of petroleum products, and in investment in oil and gas assets worldwide.

Keywords

Foreign Direct Investment Energy Sector North American Free Trade Agreement Energy Trade Dual Price 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Centre for WTO Studies (CWS), IIFT, New Delhi 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clarus Law AssociatesNew DelhiIndia

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