India must treat the ongoing global headwinds in trade and supply chain as a ‘silver lining’ and expand the country’s own capacities, especially in sectors where there is an excessive dependence on singular external source for raw material, said commerce secretary Anup Wadhawan.
“It is said that every cloud has a silver lining and we must use the unfavourable external headwinds to try and expand our capacities, strengthen our supply chain especially where we are excessively dependent on singular external sources for our inputs. Thus, we should also see this as a juncture in our economic history to work on our weak links in the supply chain and increase self-reliance,” Wadhawan said at the inauguration of the EEPC India’s IESS — an international engineering exposition at Coimbatore, in Tamil Nadu.
He was addressing over 400 global and Indian participants at the International Engineering Sourcing Show (IESS).
The commerce secretary said engineering exports account for about a quarter of India’s total exports. The engineering exporting fraternity should look ahead and set a target to double the share in global engineering exports to 2% in the next decade.
“Given the fact that the protectionism is sweeping major countries of the world and engineering being one of the segments affected by such restrictive measures, this would call upon all our engineering companies to look at innovative methods to enhance competitiveness and take advantage of various market access opportunities,” Wadhawan said.
He said, on its part, the Centre is working on several initiatives to improve ease of doing business and export competitiveness of our shipments in different industries. The measures include a national logistics policy and a national logistics action plan.
Driving logistics cost down from estimated current levels of 13-14% of GDP to 10% will be in line with global standards. Major commodities have been identified and will be encouraged to be transported by the cheapest mode. Movement by other modes like railways, coastal, waterways and slurry pipelines are being promoted through infrastructure and policy interventions, he added.