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