Lower costs, ink FTAs to push exports: CEO panel

Source: TOI

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The Steering Committee for Advancing Local Value-Add and Exports (SCALE committee), comprising top Indian CEOs, has argued that India’s proposed free trade agreements (FTAs) could help push exports of auto components and textiles.

Must Read: Free Trade Agreements (FTAs): Challenges & opportunities – Explained, pointwise
Key suggestions

The panel made the following key recommendations:

  • India needs a sustained effort to reduce problems in the following areas for domestic companies:
    • Cost and ease of doing business
    • Market access via trade treaties
    • Technology and quality issue
    • Supporting Brand India for manufacturing.
  • Addressing cost issues: The government needs to urgently address cost issues related to land, power and capital, apart from addressing scale, which lowers cost disabilities.
  • Making companies more competitive: Addressing concerns around infrastructure and logistics, labour flexibility and strengthening MSMEs could also help in lowering costs for companies and make them more competitive in global markets.
  • China plus one strategy: We need to push the “China plus one strategy” to attract investment from multinationals, while positioning India as an export hub.
  • Biggest gains to auto components: With FTAs in place, the panel concluded that auto components could be the biggest gainer across markets, including the US, UK and the EU.
  • Similarly, treaties with the UK, EU, Asean, South Asia and the US could benefit textiles.
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