As India celebrates thirty years of economic reforms, contemporary goals of becoming a global manufacturing hub necessitate new reforms to increase ease of doing business. On December 7, 2021, the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum launched two new reports focused on identifying pitfalls and solutions in India’s path to becoming a reliable manufacturing hub and a true competitor with China.
The reports were launched alongside an industry panel moderated by Atul Dhawan, Chairperson of Deloitte India. Joint secretaries from multiple ministries also spoke at the event including: Manmeet Nanda, Joint Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry; Gaurav Masaldan, Joint Secretary (Customs), Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance and Saurabh Gaur, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
The reports found that hi-tech sectors in India have the potential to offer an additional investment of USD $21 billion and create 550,000 direct jobs and 1,400,000 indirect jobs over the next five years. In addition, COVID has led to greater automation and digitization of work practices and the Modi administration’s Aatmnirbhar Initiative has ameliorated the opportunity for India’s participation in the Global Value Chain. USISPF’s recommendations for enhancing competitiveness are necessary to seize the above opportunity and are detailed in the two reports.
The first report, “Enhancing India’s GVC Competitiveness”, analyzes India’s competitiveness in comparison with Thailand and Vietnam in Ease of Doing Business (EODB), Cost of Doing Business, and Labor Market. The report makes recommendations for increasing EODB, improving labor productivity, and reducing the cost of doing business. The second report, “Shifting GVCs to India: Addressing the Key EODB Challenges”, focuses on the reasons and solutions for the current gaps.