India has opportunity to build a diverse economy after pandemic, says US India Business Council

indica News Bureau-

While the national lockdown due to the Coronavirus crisis has raised several concerns amid businesses, an American business chamber welcomed it and said that the businesses are adapting to certain ways to ensure its continuity. As highlighted by US-India Business Council President Nisha Biswal, amid the lockdown, the businesses are taking measures to allow safe operation of essential businesses and supply chains.

Biswal believes once the economic activity and demand resume, India could hold the potential for diversification of supply chains and manufacturing. “It’s an opportunity for India to play a more robust role in the manufacturing of many different product lines in the near term,” said Biswal. Even as the immediate focus for the government is pandemic mitigation, Biswal said, she is confident that India could be an attractive place for more production to be housed. “Companies are increasingly thinking about diversifying their manufacturing and supply chain, not just to have it housed in one country but to think about more regional production,” Biswal said.

“After the COVID-19 pandemic, India will have the opportunity to build an economy that is more resilient, diversified and attractive to the global manufacturers and services as the majority of the businesses worldwide have faced disruptions and economic fallout” said Nisha Desai Biswal, head of an India-centric American business representative group.

She is the president of US India Business Council (USIBC) said India is expected to benefit as it is expected that businesses will want to de-risk in having too much of a supply chain concentrated in one area and try to diversify and disperse.

“We’ll follow the decisions and guidance of government authorities on any extension of the social distancing measures in India. Judging by what is happening in the US, Europe, we anticipate and are prepared for these measures to be necessary for a while longer.” According to her, a safe and sustainable availability of migrant labor to keep supplies flowing to the “at home” population is more important during the crisis situation.

“Now after the pandemic, I think it just further underscores that there’s an opportunity here for India. In the midst of all of the disruption and economic fallout, there’s an opportunity to build an economy that is more resilient, that is more diversified and that is more attractive to more global manufacturing and global Services,” Biswal, Quoted Deccan Herald.

Biswal said that USIBC is committed to working with India on the positioning of a post-pandemic opportunity to ensure that India continues to be a global services hub in sectors like pharmaceutical, among others.

“USIBC is committed to working with India on positioning for kind of a post pandemic opportunity to ensure it continues to be the pharmacy to the world and continues to build its economy to provide more opportunity and investment for India, but also allow India to become more and more integrated into a global supply chain,” she said.

Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his steps towards handling the situation, the business chamber recommended a second round of measures to be put in place by the government of India to support businesses. Biswal said, “The second round of economic measures really should focus on what do businesses need to get through this time period. We suggested that the government should think about some strong stimulus measures that can really help keep Indian businesses afloat, through this time.”

Biswal said USIBC has written a letter to Prime Minister Modi underscoring the need for keeping supply chains open, maintaining an open global trading system, and to think about stimulus to support Indian businesses for global investors. “Some of the companies operating in India in sectors such as banking, insurance, manufacturing and logistics have expressed their concerns to these industry associations. They are worried by the lack of human resources, inadequate bandwidth for work from home ecosystems and supply chain disruptions among others,” the letter said.

The Print quoted Nisha Biswal saying, “We are working with the government to ensure our member companies can maintain business operations for critical services like banking, insurance and IT or goods like food, medicine… A comprehensive plan to relax taxes, fees, tariffs as well as monetary policy can ensure liquidity and the much needed economic stimulus to ensure continued consumer and industrial demand,”

“So, we need to make sure that just as the government is taking very strong measures to support vulnerable populations that are affected by this pandemic, that it takes some robust measures to support Indian businesses that are impacted by the pandemic,” Biswal said.

That is another area that USIBC has identified for the government as they start designing a second stimulus package, she said. USIBC has turned its attention almost exclusively to helping minimize the disruptions in businesses and make things available to people at home during the global coronavirus crisis.

“That’s been almost our entire focus for the past month. But now we’re getting to a point that as we anticipate a longer period of disruption, that we’re starting to work with both governments on what are some ways in which we can adapt our business models to be able to do more longer in these kinds of conditions,” she said.

“…. the US and India can look in terms of a post pandemic world and how our two countries our two economies can take a collaborative approach to addressing key concerns or challenges that have been highlighted through this pandemic period,” Biswal added.

She also said that USIBC has been having conversations with the Indian Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, and his American counterpart in New Delhi, Ken Juster, and other senior officials in both the countries over the matter.

“What we’re trying to do is really envision how the technology and the capabilities that the private sector has can be deployed, you know, reimagined and deployed to help meet both the societal and economic needs that are emerging today,” she said.


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