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Globalization and Regional Economic Cooperation: Management Challenges

Organized by:
The Department of Business Management of
the University of Calcutta

Call for papers

The Department of Business Management of the University of Calcutta will organize an international conference during November 25-26, 2006 in Kolkata (Calcutta), India to celebrate the completion of 150 years of the University. Academics, Researchers, Professionals, Corporate Representatives and others interested in contemporary regional and multilateral trade issues are encouraged to submit papers for presentation for the conference. Papers may address (but not necessarily be confined to) the following sub-themes:

• Challenges and opportunities before the less developed countries in the context of greater trade and economic integration of the world.
• The perceived apprehensions of the less developed countries regarding the special burdens implied in the WTO negotiations.
• Negotiation strategies to overcome these perceived burdens so that the interests of the less developed countries are firmly protected in the WTO.
• The role of regional groupings in protecting the interests of the less developed countries.
• Case studies of regional cooperation in Industry, Agriculture, Investment and Finance.
• Political Economy of regional trade and outlook for the future.

The submission deadline is August 16, 2006. The Technical Committee will refer papers and the decision regarding acceptance will be notified by September 30, 2006. Please submit papers to: N. Sen, Department of Business Management, Calcutta University, Alipore Campus, 1 Reformatory Street, Kolkata 700027, India, email: [email protected]

Confernece theme

Recent decades have seen a remarkable growth in world trade under the watchful eyes of the World Trade Organization (WTO). During the same period bilateral and regional trade agreements (B&RTAs) in different parts of the world have proliferated enormously. Though the WTO does not rule out RTAs and indeed appears to encourage them under Act. XXIV: 12 of GATT and Act. V of GATS, there is a general belief in some quarters that these agreements reflect a lack of confidence in the uniform rule-based trading mechanism propounded by the WTO. It has also been construed as an indirect way of bypassing some of its more stringent clauses.

The need to bypass stems from the widespread belief that the WTO has failed to evolve a mechanism by which the benefits of the expansion of world trade will be equitably distributed among all member nations. There are two major issues here. Many politically powerful sections in developed countries who may possibly be adversely affected if the rules proposed by the WTO are implemented, have succeeded in convincing their governments that free trade is a zero-sum game where ‘we loose and they gain’. Secondly, many less developed countries have expressed the opinion that in the name of uniform rules the WTO is imposing special burdens on them – burdens that are directly detrimental to their economic progress. This has led both sets of countries to search for strategic partners who would strengthen their bargaining power vis-à-vis their ‘opponents’ leading to long hours of negotiation at the Ministerial Conferences and mounting skepticism about the WTO’s future.

The silver lining is that no member country has fundamentally challenged the basic tenets of the WTO. In spite of the criticism, almost all of them uniformly view it as a step in the right direction in this age of globalization. The debate has been limited to formulating consistent policies that limit the adverse impact of trade liberalization on sections of populations within countries and to maximize the benefits especially to the economically weaker nations.

In this backdrop this conference intends to contribute to the raging controversies within the WTO, the negotiation strategies of the Less Developed Countries, an evaluation of the effectiveness of B&RTAs in the WTO era and to suggest, through case studies, methods of introducing pro-active `change management’ at the micro-level in tandem with the WTO inspired policy changes at the national and the international level


Submission Deadline: August 16, 2006

(full papers including abstracts of not more than 500 words)

Notification to Contributors: September30, 2006

Announcement of Full Programme: October 31, 2006


Indian Statistical Institute

The Indian Statistical Institute was founded by Professor P.C. Mahalanobis in Kolkata on 17th December, 1931. The institute gained the status of an Institution of National Importance by an act of the Indian Parliament in 1959. The Delhi Centre of the Indian Statistical Institute was started in...

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