Background of the MOU
The Permanent Mission of India to the WTO, Geneva (PMI), the Centre for Trade and Economic Integration at
The Graduate Institute, Geneva (CTEI), and the Centre for Trade and Investment Law at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi (CTIL)
have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a view to collaborating and cooperating in the field of international trade and investment
law for academic, research, training, and capacity-building activities. The MOU was signed by H.E. Ambassador Brajendra Navnit from PMI, Professor
Joost Pauwelyn from CTEI and Professor James J. Nedumpara from CTIL on 27 November 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland.
The MOU broadly covers five areas of cooperation between the Parties, which include: (1) training and capacity building; (2) joint research projects,
conferences and workshops; (3) submission of India-focused projects for examination at TradeLab legal clinics functioning at CTEI in Switzerland or CTIL
in India; (4) internship for selected CTEI students with CTIL; and (5) exchange of staff and faculty for study and research purposes.
The MOU is a positive step to bring together academics, policy makers, students and the international economic law research community based in the partnering
institutions to carry out India-focused trade policy research or other topics which may have systemic importance. The MOU, while seeking to strengthen India’s capacity
building in foreign trade policy formulation, training and research activities, will also provide impetus for the scholarly community to initiate joint projects or other collaborative programmes.
This communication seeks to outline the areas where activities are envisaged under the MOU.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE STUDENTS AND YOUNG RESEARCHERS
TradeLab Law Clinics
One of the key areas of cooperation enumerated in the MOU is the submission of India-focused projects for examination at TradeLab legal clinics at
CTEI or CTIL. CTIL has been running TradeLab clinics in India since August 2020 with three premier law schools in the country and is engaged in discussions
to extend the clinics to other leading law schools as well. As most of you are well aware, TradeLab is a Geneva-based initiative which brings together students,
academics, and legal practitioners with the aim of empowering stakeholders to avail the benefits of research in international trade law and international investment law.
Through pro bono Legal Clinics and Practica, TradeLab connects students and experienced legal professionals to research organizations, SMEs and civil society to build lasting legal capacity.
The Legal Clinics and Practica are composed of small groups of highly motivated and carefully selected law students who work on specific legal questions posed by beneficiaries. The students work over the course
of a semester and conduct detailed legal research and work on several drafts shared with academic supervisors, mentors and beneficiaries for comments and feedback. The output ranges from a legal memorandum to
a research project, report, draft law or other output tailored to the beneficiary’s needs. At the end of the semester, the groups submit a written output and orally present their project in the presence of the
beneficiaries and other invited guests. The projects are also presented at the Student Showcase, an annual global event organized by TradeLab.
The TradeLab clinics run by CTIL have covered a diverse range of India-centric or Indian industry-focused problems like promotion of exports through India’s FTAs, reforms to the legal services sector in India,
the implementation of TRQs in trade agreements, MPIA and MSME-related issues, to provide a few illustrations. Under the MOU, the TradeLab clinics will be run by CTIL to examine issues specific to India. CTIL
as well as PMI will play an important role in providing direction and mentorship to the students during their association with the clinics. The TradeLab students under this MOU will also receive an opportunity
to interact with key stakeholders in India and acquire valuable practical experience. In other words, the objective of the TradeLab clinics run by CTIL is to ensure that the selected students at the India-specific
clinics receive high calibre training and mentorship and, importantly, an opportunity to work on cross-cutting international economic law issues especially relating to India.
Contact Points and the Implementation of the MOU
For a successful implementation of the MOU, a clear management and coordination structure is important. In this regard, the contact points for each of the parties for the aforesaid activities are:
PMI: Mr. Ashish Chandorkar, Counsellor (NAMA), PMI (email@example.com)
CTEI: Ms. Tamara Pironnet, Managing Director, CTEI (firstname.lastname@example.org)
CTIL: Mr. Satwik Shekhar, Consultant (Legal), CTIL (email@example.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org)
The abovementioned contact points will coordinate regularly to conduct activities under the MOU. On the whole, the parties seek to enhance coordination with a view to benefitting through meetings, brainstorming sessions, joint research projects, collaborations for seminars or other similar events or activities.
In light of the above, the parties hope to work closely to achieve the common aims of building India focused trade-related capacity within the partner institutions and providing academic and research opportunities to students, researchers and policy makers in the field of international economic law and, in the process, establishing a robust basis for long-term partnership.