With progressive liberalisation of quantitative restrictions and tariff barriers following multilateral trade negotiations in WTO, environmental standards have emerged as significant trade barriers for developing countries' exports. These standards include food safety regulations, labelling requirements, quality and compositional standards and are often not uniform across countries. WTO Agreements on Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary measures (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) aim to ensure that such standards do not cause adverse impacts on trade. However, the developed countries have made use of flexibilities in the WTO agreements and have imposed stringent environmental norms and standards that primarily act as barriers to the exports from developing countries and also impose large compliance costs that eventually impinge on competitiveness of their exports. In ""Environmental Requirements and Market Access"", leading experts examine the incidence of environmental requirements in the North and their impact on market access for Southern products especially those from South Asia. The book deals with various dimensions of such environmental and health related standards and their impact on South Asian trade in terms of their prohibitive effect, discriminatory impact and high compliance costs. The volume concludes with an agenda of action points for governments, business houses and international agencies to address the challenge.
Nagesh Kumar is the director-general of Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS). He is the author of numerous books that address various themes of economic development, including "Protecting Foreign Investment" and "Reforms, Labour Markets and Social Security in India." Sachin Chaturvedi is a fellow at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS). He is the author of several books addressing progress in developing countries, including "Biotechnology and Development."