India ready to take lead in reviving global growth: Piyush Goyal at Dubai expo
A resurgent India is ready to take on the responsibility of being the frontrunner in reviving the global economy from the devastating impact of Covid-19 pandemic, Union minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday.
Inaugurating the India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, Goyal said: “India is already a leading player in the global markets in IT, pharma and space technology, and with the development of research and innovation capabilities, the country’s prowess in these areas would help reap the benefits of new-age technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics.”
The pandemic, Goyal said, could not stop the momentum of reforms that the Narendra Modi-led government ushered in seven years ago. The fiscal and policy measures taken by the government are set to boost the country’s manufacturing and exports’ potential and make India a global economic hub, besides strengthening its capabilities in the technology space, he added.
“The lessons learnt from the pandemic have also emboldened our confidence of surpassing any challenges in the future with the help of our scientific and entrepreneurial research and development capabilities. Whether it is development of pharma and healthcare products or running of the world’s biggest vaccination program banking on the two indigenously-produced vaccines, India has set several examples,” he told the crowd.
From here, productivity will play a big role in achieving a sustained high growth phase that India has already embarked upon, leaving behind the impact of the coronavirus, Goyal said, citing the 20.1% gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the first quarter of FY-22. The Indian economy had contracted 24.4% in the same quarter of FY-21 due to disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This not only signals a strong revival but also the potential for economic rebound in a big way, the minister said. “We have a huge advantage in our young populace, and with the help of the New Education Policy (NEP), and its focus on skill development, the productivity levels in the country are set to rise substantially to support the growth objectives,” he added.
Congratulating the UAE leadership for being able to deliver the event amid difficult times, Goyal said: “It is happening at a time when India is celebrating 75 years of its independence, and UAE is celebrating the 50th year of its foundation. UAE is one of India’s most valued partners and a close friend. EXPO 2020 will prove to be a landmark in strengthening the relationship between the two countries further”.
Goyal also said that a proposed free trade agreement between India and the UAE holds huge potential for both the countries to boost trade and investment and that investors here are “very” positive about doing business in the Indian market.
“I see a huge potential in this (deal) between the two countries. The UAE is a gateway to all of Africa and many other parts of the world. UAE also has a huge Indian diaspora, has a huge market for products like textiles, gems and jewellery, leather, footwear, and food products, which are labour oriented and provide economic opportunities,” he said.
Last month, the two countries had formally launched negotiations on the pact, officially dubbed as Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). “I think the partnership will be a win-win for both the countries,” he added.
While India-UAE trade has also been impacted by the pandemic, it was valued close to USD 60 billion in 2019-20 with UAE being India’s third-largest trading partner and being India’s second-largest export destination after the US, with an export value of approximately USD 29 billion in 2019-20.
UAE is also the eighth largest investor in India and has invested USD 11 billion between April 2000 and March 2021.