India Economic Summit 2009

  • Reinforcing Economic Imperatives: India's Global Engagement

    Sunday 8th November 2009 - 12:30pm - 1:45pm

    Download PDF

  • Reinforcing Economic Imperatives: India's Global Engagement

    India's trade and investment engagement with the rest of the world has shifted to higher trajectories, changing the way it does business on the global platform. How can its new free trade agreements with Asian economies build positive synergies for mutual development and open India's manufacturing sector?

    Key Points

    • Since opening up its economy in 1991, India has consistently followed a path of economic liberalization despite changes of government. It remains committed to following the same policy direction.
    • With the world facing the worst economic crisis in seven decades, global leaders must guard against protectionism. India is committed to doing its share, and is working for a solution to the Doha deadlock that would be fair and equitable.
    • India wants a reform of the global economic and political architecture to reflect current international realities and accommodate the needs of emerging economies in Asia, Africa and Latin America.


    Addressing the gathering, Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce and Industry of India, said the last few years have witnessed major changes in India and the world, during which India has been able to redefine its engagement with the world as well as reshape itself, its economy, ambitions and policies.

    The process of economic liberalization that began in 1991 has continued unhindered, despite changes of government, he said. India has opened up and seen its confidence grow as well as earn the confidence of others. Today, Indians are major investors in other countries, and foreign direct and institutional investments in India – after a minor dip due to the recession – are once again on an upswing.

    Given the nascent recovery in some regions, global leaders must not resort to protectionism, Sharma warned. To show its commitment to the global multilateral trading regime as well as to take the Doha process forward, India organized a ministerial in New Delhi in October, where some progress was made. India stands firm on the need for a fair and equitable solution to the trade talk’s deadlock, and its own foreign trade policy is geared towards openness and engagement.

    While some countries have been closing up, India has recently signed a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with South Korea, a free trade agreement with ASEAN, and is currently working on a similar agreement with Mercosur (Mercado Común del Sur, the South American regional trade agreement) and Mercosur-Sacu (Mercosur’s free trade agreement with the Southern African Customs Union).

    The global architecture – both financial and political – is a relic of the post-World War II world, when many of the emerging nations today did not even exist. The global system must be reformed to give an equitable share to all members and reflect the aspirations of emerging economies. The G8, Sharma said, used to be exclusivist and ill-equipped to handle global challenges; the G20 is doing a better job.

    Special Guest

    Anand Sharma

    , Minister of Commerce and Industry of India

    Introduced and Moderated by

    Venu Srinivasan

    , Chairman and Managing Director, TVS Motor Company, India; President, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), India

    Closing Remarks by

    Klaus Schwab

    , Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

    This summary was prepared by Madhur Singh. The views expressed are those of certain participants in the discussion and do not necessarily reflect the views of all participants or of the World Economic Forum.

    Copyright 2009 World Economic Forum
    No part of this material may be copied, photocopied or duplicated in any form by any means or redistributed without the prior written consent of the World Economic Forum.

    Sunday 8 November

    Keywords: Doha, global financial architecture, policy

    Recommended reading for: policy analysts, economists, governments


  • Anand Sharma Anand Sharma

  • Klaus Schwab Klaus Schwab
    Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

    Studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, University of Fribourg and Harvard U...

Introduced and Moderated by

  • Venu Srinivasan Venu Srinivasan
    Chairman and Managing Director, TVS Motor Company, India

    1974, Bachelor's in Engineering, Madras University; 1977, Master's in Management, Purdue University,...