Dr Arvind Panagariya, Former Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog and Columbia University Professor addresses Secretaries of Government of India on “Openness to Trade: Economic and Policy Considerations”

The Department of Commerce (DoC), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, in coordination with organised a Program on “Openness to Trade: Economic and Policy Considerations” for the Secretaries to Government of India in New Delhi today. The Program is part of the initiative by the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s to create better awareness at senior levels in Government about the importance of trade and the role played by exports in accelerating growth. It is also one of the Prime Minister’s goal of exports as engines of inclusive growth and finding global markets for Indian local products.

Accordingly, the Department of Commerce has planned an initiative of a three-level Capacity building and sensitisation programme to improve awareness and enhance capacity within the Government of India on Economic, policy and legal aspects of Trade and Exports and the factors influencing the overall growth.

The inaugural session on “Openness to Trade: Economic and Policy Considerations” was conducted by Dr Arvind Panagariya, Professor of Economics, Columbia University, USA and Former Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog for the Secretaries of the Government of India.  Dr Panagariya emphasised the importance of export-led growth and the need for revisiting the strategy on import substitution, factors influencing export competitiveness, and the role of FTAs in trade liberalisation. He also highlighted the way forward for India when negotiating FTAs and their role in the global economy.

Shri. Rajiv Gauba, Cabinet Secretary, Government of India, was the Chief Guest and delivered the inaugural remarks highlighting the role of FTAs and government’s intervention such as PLIs (Performance Linked Incentive), ODOP (One district one product) in achieving India’s goal of a US$ 5 trillion economy and the need for stronger inter-ministerial cooperation and coordination. He said that covid had made us realize the pitfalls of depending on one country and one source. The participants of the first session included Secretaries from several Ministries/Departments of the Government of India and the senior officials of the Department of Commerce.