Tuesday 18 July 2017, 17:00 - 18:00

Reclaiming Multilateralism - India and the WTO

Nirmala Sitharaman

Minister of State for Commerce & Industry

Auditorium Ivan Pictet A
Maison de la Paix, Geneva


As one of the founding members of the WTO, India has a long history as a staunch multilateralist.  How have recent changes in the positions of some countries affected the WTO? And why does India, as a fast growing developing country, insist on fulfilment of the development agenda as a priority?

India’s views on trade issues in general and the WTO in particular are critical to world trade governance. In this talk, Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s Minister for Commerce and Industry, shares her views and her vision.

About the Speaker

Ms Nirmala Sitharaman was born on 18 August 1959 in the temple town of Madurai, Tamil Nadu. She did her schooling and her graduation in Economics from Seethalakshmi Ramaswamy College in Tiruchirapalli. She went on to do her masters in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Indo-European Textile Trade was the focus of her draft PhD thesis.

Ms Nirmala Sitharaman joined the Bhartiya Janata Party in 2008, and was made a member of the National Executive. She was nominated as party spokesperson in March 2010, since then she has been a full time party worker.  Ms Nirmala Sitharaman was inducted in the Union of India’s Cabinet in a Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 26 May 2014. She was made a Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry.

As Minister in charge of Trade and Industry in the Government of India, Ms Sitharaman is in the vanguard of India’s reform efforts to improve the ease of doing business and facilitate investments in infrastructure, services and manufacturing.  She also leads India’s engagement in multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations.


  • Richard Baldwin, Professor of International Economics

This event is organised by the Graduate Institute's Centre for Trade and Economic Integration in partnership with the Permanent Mission of India to the WTO


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