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CNBC-TV18 hosts Leadership Collective 2022 with ‘Seizing India’s Trade Opportunities’ as central theme

The summit was held in association with Standard Chartered Bank

CNBC-TV18, in collaboration with Standard Chartered Bank, recently hosted a new iteration of its flagship summit, Leadership Collective 2022.

The English business news channel has consistently been highlighting the prospects for economic growth of the country. With reportage on upcoming government initiatives and debates involving thought leaders and experts, the channel has kept its audience informed about the latest developments on business and finance. Keeping in line with this, the summit was held on June 24 in Delhi. 

The theme of this year's edition focused on ’Seizing India’s Trade Opportunities.’ Leaders from the government and businesses participated in this thought leadership forum to map India’s growth prospects in global trade. The event was chaired by BVR Subrahmanyam- Commerce Secretary, Government of India.

While engaging in a candid conversation with CNBC-TV18’s Managing Editor, Shereen Bhan, about India’s role in light of the current global trade dynamics, Subrahmanyam said, “India could not have been in a more opportune time as far as the prospect for trade and economic growth is concerned. India is in a sweet spot and needs to grab this opportunity that comes once in every 20-25 years. After the pandemic enforced a reshuffle of global value chains, companies are looking up to India as a country with similar size and scope of investment as that of China. From a geopolitical point of view, India is looked at as a potential economic powerhouse, set to be a multi-trillion-dollar economy in the coming decade.”

“To achieve that feat, our export sector has been performing phenomenally. Within the last year, it crossed $400 billion, up from about a 12-year-long stagnation in the $300 billion mark, all done through real-time monitoring and addressing investment issues. Similar reforms in production and incentives are creating huge impact. In August 2021, we cleared Rs 55,000 crore worth of incentive backlog in one go. Schemes are automated now, and the government is working on a department that can run exports worth $2 trillion by 2030. There is an alignment across all government departments about how critical export is for India to become a developed nation.”

Taking the conversation forward with the Commerce Secretary, was a panel of speakers from Industry and Diplomacy. Ugo Astuto, EU Ambassador; Zarin Daruwala- Cluster CEO, India & South Asia Markets (Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka), Standard Chartered Bank; Mahesh Desai- Chairman, Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) India; Manish Sharma- Chairman and CEO, Panasonic India and South Asia; Nishant Arya- Vice-Chairman, JBM Group; Shailender Kumar- Senior Vice-President and Regional Managing Director, Oracle and Dr Ajai Chowdhry- Founder, HCL & Chairman EPIC Foundation, who shared their views on the policy imperatives to achieve high export growth, the role of mutually beneficial FTAs, the need to bring down the cost of logistics among the many focus areas.

Shereen Bhan, Managing Editor at CNBC-TV18, mentioned, “Leadership Collective is a thought leadership platform hosted by CNBC-TV18, in partnership with Standard Chartered. The idea behind the summit is to bring industry and government policymakers together and brainstorm on issues concerning our nation, its economy, and society. Breaking free from virtual shows due to the pandemic, we are back with an on-ground edition, a live audience, and thought leaders. CNBC-TV18 has always been at the forefront of driving conversations that matter from addressing the Gender gap, the role of philanthropy to drive social change, to the current topic of helping India seize the trade opportunity. The global economy is fragile because of the pandemic and faces more challenges today due to the ongoing Russia- Ukraine war. It is time to facilitate growth and that is why we wanted to bring policymakers and industry leaders together to chart out an action plan.”

Shedding light on the proposed EU-India #FTA deal, Ugo Astuto, EU Ambassador to India, commented, “All parameters are set for a positive engagement! We want to touch upon all topics as part of the agreement that will bolster development in our economic and trade relations. Nothing is off the table,” and added that both sides are pursuing a very ambitious timeline to 'conclude talks by the end of 2023.'

Zarin Daruwala, Cluster CEO, India and South Asia markets, Standard Chartered Bank, said, “The PLI scheme has generated a lot of interest from MNC clients. As per our own in-house estimates, it will directly benefit by creating 4 million direct jobs and pushing for indirect employment as well. Also, the intra-ASEAN trade corridor is really picking up rapidly. India must focus on the textile and leather sectors. A good example is Bangladesh’s total capitalisation of its textile policies. This year, they will cross 44-billion-dollar textile exports, which gives 4 million direct jobs and 2 crores of indirect employment. There is an 80% share of women in that workforce. We should focus on replicating that inclusive model with emphasis on women empowerment.”

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