Radical reforms to ‘Make in India’ work

Venkat Raman – 

India is on the threshold of exciting developments with the federal government in New Delhi implementing a series of radical reforms that would not only achieve sustainable development but also seek, establish and foster foreign partnerships, a senior diplomat has said.

Speaking at the ‘Make in India’ Seminar organised by the India New Zealand Business Council (INZBC) at the Westpac Head Office in Auckland City on February 11, 2016, Indian High Commission Charge de Affaires Sandeep Sood said that the reforms are also witnessing a change in approach – from ‘Red Tape to Red Carpet.’

Hidden Treasures

The ‘Make in India Week’ being held in Mumbai from February 13 to 18, 2016, is an opportunity for businesses to discover the ‘hidden treasures of India’ and learn of the facilities and incentives that are being offered to Indian and foreign companies to participate in India’s industrial and commercial development. Massive changes have Radical Reforms- Group Weboccurred in terms of simplified systems and procedures and issue of licences and permits,” he said.

According to Mr Sood, the challenge for India is to achieve an average economic growth of 10% per annum over the next ten years, ensure ease of doing business and become a part of the global chain.

“The government has taken steps to offer a number of incentives and innovative programmes that would create new avenues for growth. The concept of restricted foreign equity has undergone major changes and today Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is available in several areas. Foreigners can now own 100% equity in the Telecommunications sector,” he said.

Digital India

He cited ‘Digital India,’ Clean India Campaign’ and the existing and emerging opportunities across several industries including automobile, textile, agriculture, information and communications technology, and many others.

“India has a large consumer market and is a vibrant nation,” he said.

National Member of Parliament Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, who recently returned from India after attending several meetings and events (some of which have been published elsewhere in this issue) said that India offers ‘real opportunities’ and that it is the right time for New Zealand businesses to take advantage of them.

“India has opened its huge markets to international companies, businesses and individuals and both John Key and Narendra Modi (Prime Ministers of respective countries) are keen to strengthen our friendly relations,” he said.

The Challenges

New Zealand Trade & Enterprise Regional Director Northern Emirates and Consul General based in Dubai Clayton Kimpton, who is in New Zealand to attend a series of meetings of Trade Commissioners, said that the ‘Make in India’ campaign will be attractive to foreign businesses only if India successfully addresses its own ‘Challenge of Change.’

“The federal government should ensure the participation of all States to enable the success of ‘Make in India.’ The manufacturing sector in India currently accounts for only 6% of the GDP and the plan is to increase it to 25%. This in itself offers mammoth opportunities for New Zealand businesses but we should be aware of our capabilities and limitations. Our small size does not help us achieve economies of scale but partnership in ‘Make in India’ campaign will accrue benefits,” he said.

Mr Kimpton said that market intelligence and right connections were important to be successful in India and hoped that companies and entrepreneurs interested in engaging with India will seek the assistance of NZTE.

Among the other speakers at the Seminar were INZBC Treasurer Bhav Dhillon and former Chairman Wenceslaus Anthony.

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