Indian products deserve fair access to markets abroad: Piyush Goyal
12 August 2020
Commerce minister Piyush Goyal has called for a level playing field for Indian products in overseas markets with fair market access and reciprocity in trade relations, even as he said there are green shoots in economy with some turnaround in exports.
Speaking at a webinar organised by FICCI on Monday, the minister called upon Indian industry to stand up as one and ensure the country gets a level playing field in overseas markets.
Goyal said the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world and that the world will learn and unlearn from this Covid experience. “We'll learn to live in a hygienic manner and deploy technology to be efficient. We will learn to be more prudent, careful and conscious in our business activities”, he said, adding that all the new things in the new age world will help us redefine the future of India and be more caring citizens, be caring to the lesser privileged section of society.
Refuting the criticism by some for supporting the domestic industry and checking the imports, Goyal said that we want to protect our industries so that they can get a fair play and access. He said that India wants equal, fair and reciprocal trade with the world.
“We are moving towards balanced trade with many countries and regions. This is one of the reasons why India chose not to join RCEP as it was completely inequitable arrangement Countries should, in a phased manner, look at sourcing from India, developing their products in India and then encash the large business opportunity that 1.3 billion Indian people offer. He said that those investing in India, should not just look at assembling the semi-knocked down kits or availing import duty concessions, but must bring technologies, best practices and do value-addition,” he said.
While the government will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with industries in their efforts to become more competitive and engage with the world on equal and fair terms, Goyal said, the industry should also focus attention on the underprivileged sections of the society.
“When we demand equal and reciprocal trade with the world, we have to recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him,” Goyal said quoting mahatma Gandhi.
Goyal said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the last 6 years, has focused his efforts largely to improve quality of life of the marginalised sections of the society. Building 110 million toilets and taking broadband to remotest corners of the country and taking other welfare reform measures have collectively been game-changers and completely transformed national landscape and prepared India to fight the worst of its kind pandemic.
Goyal said the Indian economy is on a fast revival path, as could be seen by various indicators. Rail freights and electricity consumption has reached the last year’s levels, while exports in July this year are 91 per cent of last year’s levels and imports are also about 79 per cent.
Goyal invited Indian industry to walk together, support each other and work towards a prosperous India in the long run and better future for the generations to come.