India’s real USP should be around high quality, good service and good pricing: Piyush Goyal

New Delhi: Union Minister Piyush Goyal said that India’s own ease of doing business ranking has improved significantly in the five years, while addressing the students of the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) through virtual interaction here on Thursday (September 10). 

Talking about India’s mammoth potential, Piyush Goyal said the real unique selling point of India should be around High Quality, Good Service, and  Good Pricing. 

He further said, “India should get recognised the world over for its quality and competitiveness. Quality will have to be integral for the planning of our future. We believe in Transparent pricing, Transparent trade, Free Market, No price controls, and No hidden subsidies.” 

Explaining the concept of AatmaNirbharBharat, he said that it is not about closing India’s doors to international trade and engagement, adding “In fact, it is about opening it wider looking for greater engagement in global trade. Now India has to engage with global economies from a position of strength with highly cost-competitive products of high quality.” 

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Talking about India’s resilience, Goyal said that Indian exports have started showing an upward trajectory recently. “In the first week of September, our exports were 13% more than the corresponding period of last year, despite lockdowns and COVID related issues.” He said that our services exports have done well, but now we have to ensure that merchandise exports also flourish. The Minister said that for promoting domestic production and exports of goods, the government has identified sectors, and working with the industry to help them overcome the bottlenecks.

Lauding the Indian industry’s hard work and tenacity, Goyal said that from nowhere, in just 5 months, India has evolved in terms of becoming self-reliant in the production of PPE kits and masks. He said that India has not only become self-sufficient in these items but is exporting them in large numbers.

On India being a huge and much-sought aftermarket, the Union Minister said “It’s a market that businesses around the world want to engage with. The businesses will not only get a large Indian market but can also leverage this market to get economies of scale.”

Goyal said, “Trading relations between 2 countries rest on the pedestal of high reciprocity and equilibrium. More & more countries are moving towards balanced trade. India also will have to engage with other countries to expand our trading relationships but on the strength of our own competitiveness.”  

He said that if other countries want access to the market of 130 crore Indians then they will have to give us equal access to their market, adding India is not going to be a patient receiver of unfair trade practices.

On the question of promoting indigenous production of toys, Goyal said, “We have introduced quality control order on toys, and BIS has come up with standards. As we improve local toys’ quality and increase the scale of production, automatically people will prefer local toys, suited to the country.” 

The government is helping the industry with enablers, he said, to make them competitive, which include setting up clusters, anchor investors. With digital technologies and startups bringing newer ways of entertainment and creating new toys, India will be able to compete with any country.

Stating that India had not been a gainer from the past FTA’s, the Minister said that historical wrong will have to be corrected by our generation. Lauding the strong and decisive leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Goyal said that the RCEP deal was not signed as it was not properly addressing India’s concern. 

He said that India, Japan, and Australia, all three true democracies, trusted partners, and believers in rule-based trading, have recently agreed to have a supply chain initiative.

Goyal said that India wants to do FTAs with developed countries like the US, the UK, and the EU. He said that India is ready to sign a limited trade deal with the US at the earliest. He assured that deal will entail substantive gains for the country. 

All the forthcoming trade deals will be undertaken after discussions with all the stakeholders, and the interests of dairy, agriculture, MSMEs, and indigenous manufacturers will be properly safeguarded, he said, adding that the trade with the US is increasing rapidly, and the withdrawal of GSP by the US has not made much impact.

Calling upon an active partnership between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and IIFT, he called upon the IIFT students to help in the identification of new products and areas of export. 

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