OECD, Deputy Director General in India!
The Agra-held India Partnership Summit
Big shots from the WTO and OECD and Korea!
What they said about India and our performance?
As a nation, as a people and our government, bureaucray and corruption!
Yes, they all noted our high corruption-tainted government and governance! Also, more importantly, our bureaucracy and the many hurdles we put in the way of our own progress and growth etc!
Please let us all note an take note of these serious observations from people who are all experts in their own respective spheres and they have no axe to grind and they all the good wishes to see India emerge as a great nation and economy and be a valued partner in the global recovery from the recession and also promote inclusive growth.
Yes, the first name comes to mind is none other than the WTO chief Pascal Lamy (who is soon to step down) as a chief for the most important UN body, the World Trade Organisation that oversees the world trade trends and flows his words carry heavy weight and great impact on all the countries, more so on India.
India is an emerging country, an emerging economy and as such we have to learn some lessons from this great trade expert and observer from abroad.
Mr.Lamy says that first the world economic recession is not triggered by open trade which is now in action, though heavily distorted for various reasons.
So, we in India must understand the basic causes of recession when we try to under the phenomenon and also at the same time when we try to seek remedies and policy changes in India and also from outside countries like say USA and other European nations.
After the US, EU (European Union) is the biggest market for goods and services from China and India and other Asian and other nations.
Now, Lamy says that the recession is owing to the failure to control and regulate the financial system more carefully and more actively when the first signs came about.
Of course, Lamy doesn’t blame the USA but everyone knows it is the US big financial system that triggered the recessions.
This is now all old story.
Now, Lamy said as for India we have to play a more active role, of all areas, in particular in the so-called Doha Round of the trade negotiations which is now in it’s in its eleventh year!
Trade negotiations for India involve many aspects.
There are first our own needs and our own negotiating capabilities.
Our needs are to be seen in our current, both short and long-term needs.
India, in particular, in emerging as a big agricultural exporter! This, in particular again in the context of this magazine (Agriculture and Industry Survey) perspective, we have to maintain a high profile country as a great agriculture country and an agriculture economy of great impact on our own geographical context ,as an Asian economy with other partners in agriculture modernisation, with China on the one side and other countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam and Burma(the name doesn’t come easily to our memory!), we have to act in great co-operation to maintain a collective bargaining power.
In trade negotiations we have to have this collective bargaining clout, so to say, to bring our points of view to bear on the negotiations.
Now, India exports a great deal of basic commodities, rice and wheat and sugar and much of mainstream spices. So, we need to have some perspective in terms of these commodities.
Next comes services.
Mr.Lamy says that closed trade is one problem, then, open trade has its own problems.
So, more and more our own agri experts, from universities and in the government must know to master this subject.
Trade and trade negotiations.
In all our years of publication and it is time to mention here and let us hope not many might misunderstand our observations that we are perhaps the only agri publication in India and we are also the only independent agri publication, with no government dependence whatever and also fully independent to express our opinions and observations without looking at either side!
There is no agri publication in India with all its claims as a great agriculture economy and whatever the government chooses to call itself and also without seeking any favour whatever.
This involves a heavy price too!
All who seek official patronage and in India all that is advertised as publications or expression of opinion, even those opinions seen as great expositions of expertise and opinions is all to seek government attention and government patronage only.
We have seen this supine obedience to please the government machinery. Both the ministers and the bureaucrats who speak in the name of Indian agriculture first and foremost ignore the independent voices of the farm lobby. Even the farm lobby or lobbies that operate India are lobbies that try to please the officialdom, the establishment and also they seek patronage in so many ways.
Unfortunately, we have to say all these things here for there is no other opportunity for us except at these places and only on some rare occasions.
See the sorts of criticism the government receives from the public opinion on such acts like awarding Pama awards and other recognitions. The silent farming community never gets any one word of recognition from the ministers, from the faceless bureaucrats. Not the least from the Prime Minister or the agri minister!
Now, as for Mr.Lamy’s other words of wisdom, he says that Indians must improve their education, skills and other social services, he didn’t mention malnutrition and other aspects of India’s endemic poverty when he says that India need an inclusive growth agenda.
Thank you Mr.Lamy, for your very relevant and timely observations on India while you remained on the Indian soil! We salute you on behalf of the Indian farming community!
Lamy said many things that might interest Indian readers of this magazine.
He said that of all trade negotiations, the Doha trade talks had been the toughest, it lasts in its eleventh year while the earlier Uruguay round of talks lasted only eight years.
WTO has 160 members and so the talks have become tougher.
He expressed hopes that with the December talks with Indonesia, the least developed countries might benefit with the December talks with Indonesia and other countries trade ministers’ meet.
The other members at the Agra are the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) the Paris based think tank said in India the bureaucracy and corruption are the biggest hurdles and barriers for faster growth for India! How true and how relevant.
Also, at Agra the visiting South Korean trade minister, in fact he is South Korean Knowledge Economy Minister, Mr.Sukwoo Hong met Mr.Anand Sharma and drew his country’s displeasure over the too delayed Posco steel project, a 12 billion dollar strong investment that is pending for far-too long! 8 long years!
Image Source http://www.lepoint.fr/