Industry must im­prove prod­uct stan­dards, manufacturing & ser­vices de­liv­ery to re­main com­pet­i­tive post TPP agree­ment

FICCI Business Digest - - Special Features -

Sujata Me­hta, Sec­re­tary (Mul­ti­lat­er­als & ER), Min­istry of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia, urged In­dian industry to fo­cus on im­prov­ing prod­uct stan­dards, manufacturing and ser­vices de­liv­ery to re­main com­pet­i­tive in the global mar­kets as the US was fast track­ing the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of Trans Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP) and it was bound to im­pact the In­dian industry ad­versely.

She was speak­ing at a sem­i­nar on 'Mega Re­gional Trade Agree­ments and their Im­pacts on the In­dian Econ­omy' or­gan­ised by FICCI in as­so­ci­a­tion with CUTS In­ter­na­tional and IPE Global Pvt Ltd in New Delhi on April 22, 2015.

The For­eign Trade Pol­icy 20152020 has ad­dressed the is­sues on mega-re­gion­als and their im­pli­ca­tions for In­dia. Me­gare­gion­als are per­ceived as a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion of ma­jor trad­ing play­ers' am­bi­tions. Th­ese deals have the po­ten­tial of sig­nif­i­cantly redefin­ing the global trade ar­chi­tec­ture. It is widely felt that In­dia must recog­nise the emerg­ing chal­lenges from the mega agree­ments cur­rently un­der ne­go­ti­a­tion, and start pre­par­ing right away.

With the TPP ex­pected to come into force by the end of this year, she said that mega re­gional trade deals, TPP and Transat­lantic Trade and In­vest­ment Part­ner­ship (TTIP), would rep­re­sent half of world trade, hence, they would un­doubt­edly im­pact emerg­ing coun­tries like In­dia.

Me­hta said that there was a need for a suc­cess­ful re­sponse from In­dia to the TPP agree­ment so as not to be shut out of the global mar­kets. She added that In­dia needs to fo­cus on get­ting the best out of the new trade winds that are blow­ing across the globe and play a more proac­tive role in the new eco­nomic ar­chi­tec­ture that would un­doubt­edly emerge through th­ese trad­ing ar­range­ments.

Sunil Mi­tra, Former Rev­enue Sec­re­tary, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia and Ad­viser, IPE Global Pvt Ltd, said that In­dia needs to ur­gently look at how it would align with the process that would take place with the ex­e­cu­tion of TPP and must de­vise and be ready with its strate­gic plan in case of trade di­ver­sion, which was a most likely oc­cur­rence. He added that the gov­ern­ment must un­der­stand the re­quire­ments that would arise with TPP in force and work to­wards set­ting a reg­u­la­tory pol­icy frame­work to com­ple­ment the new re­al­ity.

Pradeep S Me­hta, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, CUTS In­ter­na­tional, said that the con­se­quence of TPP in force would be that new higher stan­dards for prod­ucts and ser­vices would emerge, also giv­ing rise to reg­u­la­tory is­sues. He added that In­dia needs to find a bal­anced strat­egy to re­spond to the po­ten­tial ef­fects of TPP by tak­ing th­ese chal­lenges as op­por­tu­ni­ties to ad­vance In­dia's trade stan­dards and en­sure its de­vel­op­ment ob­jec­tives.

Dr. A Di­dar Singh, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, FICCI, said that it was time for industry to do the prepara­tory work in or­der to deal with the chal­lenges which would emerge once th­ese pacts were im­ple­mented. Re­call­ing Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi's cam­paign 'Make in In­dia', he added that industry must fo­cus on pro­duc­ing 'Zero de­fect, Zero ef­fect' prod­ucts to main­tain its share in the global mar­ket.

Sujata Me­hta, Sec­re­tary (Mul­ti­lat­er­als & ER), Min­istry of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia, ad­dress­ing the sem­i­nar.

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