Focus On Quality, Competitiveness To Boost Exports: Indian Commerce Minister
NEW DELHI — “The image of India in the international market is good, and the world is willing to increase trade with us,” India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said, referring to Prime Minister Narendra the Modis’ clarion call on Aug. 6 “Local Goes Global: Make in India for the World”.
“It is majorly because of the quality of goods of India and the hard work of the Indians that the people of the world wish to buy goods from India.
Addressing representatives from industry associations, Goyal on Aug. 23 said as the local goes global, the focus of the government is to enhance the quality, productivity, and competitiveness of industry to boost exports.
“Today’s interaction was very consequential. People from all over India engaged in the sector gave their ideas for creating a more robust and vibrant industry ecosystem. The associations put forward their grievances, but mostly looking at their enthusiasm to meet the targets, I am positive that commerce in India will flourish.”
He said that with a collective will, agility, and synergies, India turned a ‘Crisis into an Opportunity,’ as the merchandise exports for the first two weeks of August rose 45 percent over 2020-21 and up 32 percent from 2019-20 and merchandise exports for April 1 – Aug. 14, up by 71 percent over 2020-21 and up 23 percent over 2019-20.
The minister also said that sector-specific efforts are required to help the industry. “We are on a Brand India Mission; Commerce and Industry will engage with each sector to ensure that we arrive at solutions,” he said.
Further, Goyal said that the story had just begun and urged the Industry Associations to suggest more ways to reduce the compliance burden.
“I urge all to share their experience on Non-Tariff Barriers in other countries so that India can take appropriate response where ever feasible,” the minister said.
“It is also time to reflect on how to achieve future targets. India’s average applied import tariff dropped to 15 percent in 2020 from 17.6 percent in 2019, the sharpest annual fall in about a decade and a half, and our applied tariffs are way below the bound rate of 50.8 percent (permissible limit under the WTO), with positive momentum, India is working in mission mode to achieve a target of 400 billion dollar merchandise exports in 2021-22.”
Speaking about the aim of $2 trillion contributions of exports by 2030 in the economy, Goyal said the economy is on a path of revival, and India received the highest ever foreign direct investment inflow in the financial year 2020-21.
It surged by 10 percent to $81.72 billion from $74.39 billion (2019-20), and Foreign Direct Investment during May 2021 was $12.1 billion, or 203 percent higher than May 2020 and 123 percent higher than May 2019.
The minister said that from the ease of doing business to exports and from startups to services, India is taking giant leaps in each sector.
More than 54,000 startups are providing employment to 550,000 jobs, and more than two million jobs will be created by 50,000 new startups in the next five years, according to Goyal.
“It is time for our industry to expand our capacity, capability, and commitment to develop(ing) resilient global supply chains,” he said.
Talking about incentivizing manufacturing, Goyal said: “Government’s focus will be on PLI (Production-Linked Incentive schemes) to 13 sectors in next five years, focus on 24 sectors to attract investment, one-stop digital platform to facilitate businesses through Investment Clearance Cell (ICC), One District One Product under which creating a pool of 739 products from 739 districts (and) India Industrial Land Bank for providing a GIS-enabled database of industrial areas.”
He said that the Center expects Indian Industry to suggest areas for intervention through research, handholding of exporters/manufacturers, deeper engagement with States, greater engagement with Missions, among other things.
“The key to success is to focus on goals, not obstacles,” the minister said. “Indian industry through their conviction and commitment have [sic] demonstrated to the world that we can rise to any challenge and conquer it.”
Goyal said Industry Associations would play a key role in developing a SAFE ecosystem: Sustainable, Agile, Futuristic & Efficient to make India a Global Hub of manufacturing, and together, “we will achieve ‘Sarva Lok Hitam,’ that is the growth of the industry with ‘Quality driven productivity.”
(With inputs from ANI)
Edited by Amrita Das and Krishna Kakani