There is a famous saying in Sanskrit
उद्यमेन हि सिध्यन्ति कार्याणि न मनोरथै: ।
न हि सुप्तस्य सिंहस्य प्रविशन्ति मुखे मृगा: ॥
Meaning – One can accomplish any impossible-looking task not by merely making wishes or coveting about it but by consistent and persistent efforts. Furthermore, has anyone ever heard of a deer coming and entering the mouth of a lion while the lion is asleep?
India is the country with the largest human resources in the world. Hence, it’s perceived as an inward-looking economy that thrives from consumption by its young population. In 2014, India was the 10th largest economy in GDP size, with ~ 2.04 trillion USD (World GDP stood at 79.73 trillion USD) and with an export base of ~ 469 billion USD or 2.47 per cent of the total global trade market despite having 1.30 billion people representing ~ 17.7 per cent of the world’s population.
In simpler words, in 2014, ~18 per cent population of the world contributed 2.55 per cent to global GDP and a world exports share of 2.47 per cent.
India, in coming years, will be the largest manufacturer and eventually the exporter of drones, defense, and digital exports including semiconductors. The work has already begun
A decade ago, India and its expertise were largely undermined, with the best brains leaving the country and India being perceived as a factory of low-skilled workers, who can speak English well and are only suitable for blue collared service-oriented outsourcing Jobs.
This is how the world saw India from its coloured lenses. However, that was not the perception and reality in the past (a few millennia back) Bharat, since ancient times, has been an export-oriented economy. Until about 1000 AD, Bharat contributed 34 per cent of the world’s total GDP without looting, plundering, or colonising any other country but by exporting superior goods to the rest of the world. Despite attacks from foreign plunderers and aggressors, until the middle of the 18th century, India contributed ~ one-fourth of the world GDP, largely again driven by exports. Evidence of India’s exports and its proficiency in manufacturing can be witnessed by the fact that when the Generals of Alexander like Cassander, Ptolemy, and Seleucus reached Macedonia after Alexander’s death carrying spices, muslin and silk and offered it to their wives, women friends and partners as gifts, they were astonished to see that Greek women for years have been wearing outfits made of these finest materials that were made in Bharat. Another evidence of it is India being called the Golden Sparrow.
Who and why this name was given to Bharat?
Britishers, when they first came to India, called India the Golden Sparrow as the quantum of gold or gold coins and gold ornaments that existed in every Indian household was incomparable to the rest of the world.
This quantum of gold existed in Indian temples and Indian households despite India having no major gold mines. The predominant reason why India was called ‘the golden sparrow’ was because of its abundant raw materials and availability of precious stones. Mauryan huge ships sailed as far as Syria, Egypt and ancient Greece, carrying raw material, cloth, silk, muslin and spices and returned with precious stones and gold. The ancient Bharat was a global trade hub. Major cities had Dharamshalas where importers could stay free of cost, accept Bharat’s hospitality and check the Indian goods and then place orders to be taken to their own countries. All these business activities vanished due to colonisation by the British. After Independence, India struggled to survive, and the question of exports was forgotten in such a dire state of existence.
But off-late, India has now realised its strength the same way how Bhagwan Hanuman realised His immense powers after Jambavan the king of bears and guru of Hanuman made him realise His true powers, changing the tale and its trajectory since 2014. From an export of ~ USD 469 billion in 2014, India is expected to hit a whopping 770 billion USD export mark in 2022 (Data awaited, USD 750 billion mark already crossed). India, in its recent trade policy, has kept a stretched target of 2 trillion USD by 2030, by which time India’s economy should hit the 7.5 trillion USD mark.
Leap Jump from 2023 to 2030 for India
One phrase that defines the Government of India’s ambition in exports is BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)
To facilitate this aspirational, ambitious and audacious goal, the Government is willing to walk endless miles with exporters so that they could aid and be instrumental in India achieving its dream of AatmaNirbhar Bharat (Self – reliant) and Savatra Sahayak Bharat (Helping everyone around).
A few important points that emerge from the GOI (Govt of India) plan include
No Sunset clause – To date, the export policy always had an end period, but now the perks and benefits extended under the New Trade Policy 2023 will not have any sunset clause. In other words, it will remain in force forever. Earlier, export policies came with a five-year window, which acted as a bottleneck. For the first few years, the exporter would deploy his capital, time, and resources, build connections, and get quality checks approved. By then, reaping had to start the law changes, hampering business acumen and activity. This small change alters the exporters’ dynamics perpetually and stabilises the entire ecosystem.
Restructuring the Department of Commerce – The Department of Commerce is being restructured by the Government of India to make it future-ready and would act as an enabler to exporters. A trade promotion body is being set up under the Department of Commerce, whose sole aim will be to showcase the goods and services of India to the rest of the world. It will act as a sales engine for the exporters, saving their precious time and money in chasing potential buyers
Indian Brands to go global – The new trade policy will direct India’s at least 100 brands to be the champion brands in their respective areas. Recently, Banarasi Pan, Banarasi Langda Mango, Ramnagar Bhanta (Brinjal), and Adamchini Rice have received GI Geographical Indication (GI) tag ensuring that the world recognises the products and quality that come out from various regions of India.
E-commerce & Digital Commerce – Foreign trade policy is now being extended to E-com and D-Com (Digital commerce), which will contribute roughly 15 per cent of the total 2 trillion USD exports expected to emanate from India in 2030. There are two kinds of exports – Services Exports and Merchandise exports (export of Goods). India wishes to excel in both of them. The target for services and merchandise has been set at 1 trillion USD each, which means focus needs to be on manufacturing goods and services.
India, in coming years, will be the largest manufacturer and eventually the exporter of drones, defence, and digital exports including semiconductors. The work has already begun, and results will start coming forth in the next couple of years. Finally, Hanuman has realised its inner strength and crossing the Hind Mahasagar is a cakewalk. (Views are personal)