The International Trade Council takes note of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address at the G20 Trade and Investment ministerial meeting, where he underscored India's transition from "red tape" to a more favorable investment climate, emphasizing a shift towards liberalized Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows over the past nine years.
During the virtual address to the G20 meeting, Prime Minister Modi acknowledged the historical significance of trade in connecting people, cultures, and technology, citing its role in lifting millions out of extreme poverty. He presented a positive outlook on the Indian economy, highlighting the country's recognition as a land of opportunities, openness, and choices. He attributed India's position as the fifth-largest global economy to continuous government efforts, including initiatives like "Reform, Perform, and Transform," alongside policies aimed at enhancing competitiveness, transparency, digitization, and innovation.
The Prime Minister remarked, "We have moved away from red tape to red carpet and liberalized FDI flows," indicating India's commitment to creating a more investor-friendly environment.
Acknowledging achievements, such as dedicated freight corridors and industrial zones, Prime Minister Modi cited significant strides in liberalizing FDI flows, the Make in India campaign, and the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat initiative. The Prime Minister reaffirmed the government's determination to elevate India to the status of the third-largest global economy in the near future.
Addressing present global challenges, including the pandemic and geopolitical tensions, Prime Minister Modi emphasized the need to rebuild confidence in international trade and investment within the G20 nations. He highlighted India's proposal for a Generic Framework for Mapping Global Value Chains as a measure to enhance resilience and assess vulnerabilities.
In terms of technology's transformative influence on trade, the Prime Minister recognized India's adoption of the online single indirect tax system, GST, and the Unified Logistics Interface Platform. He also highlighted digitization initiatives such as the 'Open Network for Digital Commerce' and 'High-Level Principles for the Digitalization of Trade Documents,' asserting the potential for digitization to improve market access.
Prime Minister Modi advocated for a rules-based, inclusive, and multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core. He reiterated India's dedication to supporting the concerns of the Global South, especially regarding Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and underlined India's efforts to integrate MSMEs into global trade and value chains. The proposed 'Jaipur Initiative' aims to enhance MSMEs' access to market and business-related information, with a belief that upgrading the Global Trade Help Desk would foster increased MSME participation in global trade.