Reimagine India: Special Address by Shri Gaurav Gogoi on ‘India's Growth Story Post COVID’


The world is faced with an unprecedented crisis which has adversely impacted the political, social, and the economic aspects of life and by extension, the international economic relations. While the future remains uncertain and we may see many such events unfold, it is important that we understand what could be the likely implications for the Indian economy and how India could address the challenges and prepare itself to capitalise on the emerging opportunities to foster unleash the animal spirits to jump start its economic growth. Therefore, to have a robust discussion on "India's growth story post Covid", the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the India Office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) are organized a virtual conversation with the keynote address being delivered by Shri Gaurav Gogoi, Hon’ble Member of Parliament on September 12, 2020 on CISCO WEBEX platform.

Key Takeaways:

- COVID-19 has changed the trajectory of politics, economics and has redefined the political ecosystem.

- The pandemic has led us to believe that global connectivity and global leadership, are very important while dealing with such crises.

- Countries have to be inward looking where economic self-reliance can be a plausible solution to this vulnerability. But economic self-reliance is not autarky and countries need to rely on each other to become stronger together.

- In India’s context, more than major legislative reforms, it is necessary to have economic and financial sector reforms for the country’s overall growth.

- The developing inequalities across the states, need to be addressed. Some of the Indian States which have traditionally seen interest from the private sector, both domestic and international, should be given the freedom to pursue domestic and foreign investments in an organised manner.

- The States need to organise business summits, have trade councils, common Chief Ministers’ forum or leadership councils to help bring reforms and ease investment in their respective States.

- The role of the Indian industry, both in the technological space and in terms of employment creation, is crucial for India’s development.

- In the current state of our economic growth map, the sectors which can create the maximum number of jobs - textiles and garment, manufacturing, oil, mines, healthcare technology, mobiles, electric cars, automobiles, should be supported as they need sector-wise reform in order to help them grow.

- India needs to focus on Start-Ups not only in the Technology sector or AI but also help Start-Ups and MSMEs in the pharmaceuticals and generic medicine sector. It is also important to help these firms with registration, recognition and access to funding, in an easier manner.

- The Indian Generic Drugs industry has been lauded in the world to make drugs affordable and accessible. COVID-19 has taught us that India needs to ramp up the investments in the healthcare sector.

- There is need to develop India’s diplomatic attention and capacity. Countries like Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium and Austria have a lot of potential, that needs to be tapped into from India’s side especially in the sectors of Technology, Defence, Cyber Security, Maritime Cooperation and Energy.

- While the world has called India to be a part of the larger global economic narrative, the withdrawal of India from RCEP, did not contribute to its image favourably.

- With a country like China with an expansionist view, India’s relationship with Japan, South Korea and Australia is much more important especially in Defence and Maritime space.

- India is considered as a big brother in the region especially from the perspective of the South Asian countries. With countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal ,the key allies, there is a need to build upon the diplomatic efforts and personal outreach with the Heads of State.

- India needs to see this crisis as an opportunity and needs to focus on economic revival, good governance and the capacity of the governments, both at the Centre and at the State levels, to deliver as well as engage countries within and outside Asia.


Peter Rimmele