CII and UK Government Release a Report on “Foreign Trade & Investment in India: Unlocking Key Opportunities through Strategic Reforms”
Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog stated that India now needs to get into cutting edge technology in order to boost its exports. He was speaking at the launch event for the report “Foreign Trade & Investment in India: Unlocking Key Opportunities through Strategic Reforms”, prepared by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in partnership with the UK Government.
Sectors such as telecom, automobiles, battery storage devices, and solar energy, among others, would benefit from technology exports. These, in his view, would help the country take a quantum leap forward for connecting to global value chains. The reforms that have been implemented post the pandemic would go a long way in facilitating this process, he added.
The report presents a detailed analysis of the policies that affect India's openness with respect to international trade, including tariff and non-tariff barriers, and FDI. Against the background of the policy changes, the study analyses the trends and patterns of imports and exports and FDI inflows as also identifies on-ground issues being faced by companies in India. It also highlights the need to participate in preferential trade arrangements with key partners, alongside leveraging existing ones, for realizing greater export and FDI and increasing India’s integration into the regional and global value chains, focusing on higher incentives and lower tariffs for enhanced production, rationalising power cost, setting up of certification bodies, and specific trade facilitative measures, among others.
Ms Rhiannon Harries, UK’s Deputy Trade Commissioner, South Asia who joined the launch said that , “Trade and investment sits at the heart of the UK-India relationship. The UK and Indian governments are already working closely on an enhanced trade partnership, which will help deepen trade ties, remove market access barriers and act as a roadmap for a potential future free trade agreement. We are pleased to have partnered with CII on identifying the contributions of trade and investment to economic growth and strategic reforms needed to unlock key opportunities.”
Mr Soumitra Bhattacharya, Chairman, CII National Committee on MNCs & MD Bosch India, stated that over the years, Indian policymakers have undertaken dynamic reform measures to improve the trade and investment sentiment regime for further driving the growth momentum of the economy. Landmark initiatives have been undertaken in the domain of taxation, liberalization in policies, & Production Linked Incentive scheme to boost FDI. As a result, the country has emerged as a stable and safe place for businesses and a land of multiple opportunities across varied sectors.
Mr Kant stated that India is at the cusp of a transformation. Thanks to the reforms process in India, key indicators such as GDP, FDI and trade have risen sharply. India has became a favoured destination for global investment. He said that the report now highlights the measures that the Government needs to take in order to make India more competitive in the global market.
To establish India as a global trade and investment hub, the CII report calls for exploring FTAs with key partners such as the UK, USA and the EU. It suggests setting up a Single Point of Contact for large overseas investors, designing specific policies for Champion Sectors, and introducing differential slab-based incentives as per FDI size.
The business and regulatory climate in India has shown massive improvement. The report recommends key policy measures including developing a mechanism to review the effectiveness of single-window systems more regularly and effectively by the Chief Secretary of the respective states, digitisation and integration of land records, introduction of single online portal with integrated information, notification of ‘Fixed Term Employment’ by all states, and promotion of ADR Mechanisms.
23 February, 2021