Piyush Goyal
Piyush GoyalFile photo

Goyal urges Ministers of neighbouring countries to work together to transform the sub-continent

New Delhi, December 15, 2021

Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Tuesday called upon fellow Ministers of neighbouring countries to work together to transform the sub-continent.

Addressing the CII: Partnership Summit-Ministerial Meeting through video conferencing, Goyal called for enhancing India’s economic ties with the nations of the Southern African Customs Union comprising Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho.

He said India was looking for FTAs with like-minded nations with transparency and mutual benefit and growth as key pillars. The country was also reviewing existing FTAs with ASEAN, Japan and Korea to strengthen them. It was forging enhanced trade alliances with the UAE, EU, UK, Israel, Australia, Canada, Russia, Oman and the GCC.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, India had emerged as a source of resilience and a trusted partner. “We had tried to the best of our ability to meet all our international service commitments,” he added.

During the pandemic period, India not only became self-sufficient in the production of critical medical supplies, PPEs, testing kits and masks but had also supplied these necessities to nations in need. He highlighted India’s one-of-its-kind vaccination drive, through which 1.3 billion doses of vaccine have already been administered.

“India would continue helping nations in need as we intrinsically believed in brotherhood, partnership and the need to work together to solve problems collectively. The country had focussed on its neighbourhood during the pandemic and stood ready to support all its friends with vaccines and medical supplies,” he said.

Pointing out that India’s voice was heard in the G20 declaration this year, which successfully amplified the voice of the developing countries of the world, the Minister said the world was acknowledging India’s leadership.

The Indian economy has made a sharp recovery and added that the rising economic indicators point towards "an India shaping up for a growth decade".

The country has seen a GDP growth of 8.4% in Q2, high exports, high FDI and large amounts of investments by Indian companies in other nations. He urged the Ministers to invite Indian companies to invest in their economies and help create jobs.

“We need to focus on vital aspects which will impact our future and direction of growth, as we deepen our global engagements,” he added.

The Minister outlined six areas on which India was focussing to build a sustainable, inclusive and resilient ecosystem for future partnerships; Trade Agreements, Investments, India’s strengths as a supply chain alternative, Ease of Doing Business, Innovation and Sustainability.

Underscoring India’s initiatives in investment promotion, Goyal said the Government has been inviting businesses of other countries to seize the investment opportunity as "India is the place to be" with its accessibility, choice, openness and opportunities.

Listing potential sectors for investments including healthcare, infrastructure, defence, energy, civil aviation, insurance and technology, the Minister said various schemes to facilitate trade and investment, including PLI Scheme, Liberalised FDI Policy, etc. were being executed.

India’s diverse business landscape, skilled workforce, relatively low labour cost and initiatives to boost the infrastructure such as National Infrastructure Pipeline, GatiShakti and National Monetisation Plan would certainly give a fillip to investments and yield good returns, he added.

Speaking of India’s quest to improve Ease of Doing Business, he said initiatives like the National Single Window System and the Industrial Land Bank were helping improve the ease of doing business significantly.

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, New India is becoming the global hub for innovation with the third-largest Startup ecosystem with 79 Unicorns. Startups have the potential to catalyse India’s integration in the global value chains and create global impact, he said.

Emphasizing India’s initiatives in sustainable development, Goyal said India will reach its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030 and meet 50% of its energy requirements from Renewable Energy under one of the world’s most ambitious Renewable energy programs. India has pledged to achieve Net Zero Emissions by 2070.

The path to economic growth must be intertwined with a commitment to sustainability. The Minister said as India celebrates "Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav" to mark 75 years of Independence, it is also preparing a blueprint for the next 25 years to determine where India will be at 100 years of independence. He invited Ministers participating to join hands with India to bolster collaboration in Research and Development, innovation, Intellectual Property Rights etc.

He called upon Ministers from various nations to take forth the agenda of strengthening partnerships between India and the world and re-stabilize and revitalizing economies in the post-COVID-19 world.

The summit was attended by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Qassim Al-Abdullah Al-Thani, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Qatar, Loknath Sharma, Minister of Economic Affairs, Bhutan, Gebre Meskel Chala, Minister for Trade & Regional Integration, Ethiopia, Faiyaz Koya, Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism & Transport, Fiji, Fayyaz Ismail, Minister for Economic Development, Maldives, Soodesh Satkam Callichurn, Minister of Commerce & Consumer Protection, Labour, Human Resource Development and Training, Mauritius, Dr Pwint San, Minister for Commerce, Myanmar, Bandula Gunawardhana, Minister of Trade, Sri Lanka, Chhuon Dara, Secretary of State, Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia and Giancarlo Giorgetti, Minister of Economic Development, Italy.


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