India needs to focus on domestic policies to step up its share in global trade to 4-5 per cent from the current 1.7 per cent and not get perturbed by what is happening in the US, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya said today. He offered a simple solution to bump up India’s share in global merchandise exports, saying “what matters more is what we do in India”.
The global merchandise export is USD 16-17 trillion. He suggested that the effort should be to raise India’s pie, irrespective of increase or decrease in global trade. “What happens to the size of global merchandise exports, whether it remains at USD 16 trillion or goes up to USD 18-19 trillion, is of less consequence. What share we are able to get into this pie is more important,” Panagariya said at a panel discussion here.
Referring to concerns expressed over the policies of being followed by the new American regime under President Donald Trump, Panagariya felt that India need not get pessimistic, but focus on improving its own policies to promote trade. He further said that unlike other US Presidents, Trump is actually pursuing an agenda based on the promises made during the election campaign.
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Several US Presidents in the past had refrained from vigorously pursuing the electoral promises, especially with regard to protectionism after assuming power. “One fundamental difference is what happened then and what is happening now. During the election campaign, protectionist sentiment came to the fore, that happens to be more popular than the theme of open market. But once the election was won, generally the President who came in advanced market economy agenda,” he said.
About farmers, Panagariya said they have started getting price consumers pay for farm products. “Farmers are getting small fractions of price which consumers are paying,” he noted. The NITI Aayog vice-chairman emphasised on the need for creating more and more mandis for farmers.