And for a Friday after India rightly pulls out of RCEP, some thoughts….. some musings…..
RCEP – Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership – India has been an active member negotiating with ASEAN and Quad 4 countries since its launch in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in November 2012. China slowly but surely, in keeping with its Imperialistic ambitions, has hijacked the proceedings to suit itself. China wants customs duty cut off at 2014 levels instead of India’s request of 2019 and offers no guarantees for India’s reciprocal interest in opening markets for Services, IT Industry and Professionals. India has always argued for free trade adhering to a Rule based International order. In current form, RCEP is Win-Win for China which can dump manufactured goods thru any of the ASEAN countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and lose-lose for India. Apart from dumping manufactured goods, unrestrained Agri products imports will throttle the already Marginalised Indian Farmers.
In the Globalised and interlinked World of today, India cannot be isolated and must be part of the Global Trade and Supply chain. We need to strengthen our Economy particularly our Manufacturing capabilities to be Globally relevant. Our MSME Entrepreneurs and Professionals have the capability, but we need to empower them. We need more of Governance and less of Government at every level of the Bureaucracy on the Ground – fewer Babus and lesser complicated and ambiguous rules to deal with. The one biggest stumbling block to Economy is Corruption. No doubt at the highest echelons it may have changed, but grass root babudom, nothing has. Be it land acquisition, labour matters, pollution rules, environmental clearance, logistics, funding rules, working capital etc. At every stage corruption and nepotism erodes our competibility. India has to be part of the World order. We have to sign in Global and Reciprocal Trade agreements. Our businesses must become competitive. Babudom must change. Business Ethics must change. No short cuts.
Let all of us, the honest citizens of this country, believe in the strengths of our country. Let’s build our Economy. Let’s marginalise the corrupt and the dishonest, the legal way, the ethical way, the SEEGOS way.