Business Today 14th January 2018 - Page 20

THE BUZZ TRADE WARS EXISTENTIAL CRISIS FOR WTO O THE BIGGEST chal- lenge for the World Trade Organization, or WTO, is its own existence. The biggest threat comes from the US, which has already pulled out of several multilaterals, including Trans-Pacific Partner- ship, North American Free Trade Agreement, and commitments made at COP 21 to cut carbon emissions. At the 11th ministerial con- ference of the WTO at Buenos Aires, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer questioned several WTO proce- dures and stalled the permanent solution on public stockholding for food security. But Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu believes that India DIPLOMACY needs the WTO more than ever before. In February, India is organ- ising a ‘mini-ministerial’ in Delhi to work out the modalities to strengthen processes at the WTO. He says global trade can help India give a big push to growth. “The need for organisations like the WTO becomes more relevant,” he said. - Anilesh S. Mahajan TELECOM Booster Shot for Broadband ROLLING OUT the optical fibre network across the country is costly and time consuming. The De- partment of Telecom recently decided to auction airwaves in V and E bands for faster broadband networks, taking a diff erent stand from regulator TRAI, which had suggested that these airwaves be allotted on an annual fixed-fee basis. V and E are high-frequency bands with low cover- age. These are ideal for transmitting large amounts of data (1,000 megabit per second) between two mobile towers. They can replace the need for opti