The world is looking for trusted partners where there is rule of law, transparency in systems, strong judiciary and democratic traditions, and India can become a key player in global supply chains as it provides all of these, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Saturday.
He said India has to engage with the world with competitive prices, high quality products, large scale economies of manufacturing, high productivity levels, but "not on the crutches" of government subsidies.
The world is "looking for trusted partners...who have a rule of law, who have transparency in the system, who have a court of appeal, which have vibrant media, strong judiciary and democratic traditions. These are the type of partners the world is looking for and India provides all of these and can become a trusted partner in global supply chains," the minister said in a CII webinar.
Talking about the performance of the country's exports, Goyal said the current numbers of outbound shipments are reflecting signs of significant improvement.
He said exports last month reached about 91 per cent level as compared to July 2019.
"In fact, in the last 10 days of August, we are at over 95 per cent export level. If you remove oil based and gem and jewellery exports, we have actually grown in July and in the last 10 days of July, we have grown by above 10 per cent and I think that should be the music to ears for all the analysts who are worried about whether it will be 'U' shape or a 'V' shape recovery.
"But at the same time, we cannot rest on our laurels. This is a short term phenomenon, we all need to work harder to institutionalise this," he added.
The minister also said that for the last 11 days, Indian railways have been running the freight trains at twice the speed of what they were running one year ago.
"So from about 23 km/hr, freight trains today are running at 46 km/hr," he said adding for the first time in the history of Indian railways, rather than industry coming to railway and pleading that their material be given priority, today railway is reaching out to industry to get more freight.
In the last 11 days, the minister said, Indian railways have moved 4 per cent more freight than they did in the same 11 days of 2019.
Goyal also said many people wondered earlier why India had imposed restrictions on export of medicines.
He said the restrictions were never meant to stop supply of medicines, they were rather imposed to ensure an equitable distribution across the globe, otherwise in the period of crisis, a few nations would have cornered all the available pharmacy and medical stocks and the poor, and less rich countries would have remained deprived of adequate medicines.
Further he said that "when we talk of a STRONG India, we are talking of India where 'S' stands for 'sabka saath, sabka vikas, aur sabka vishwas', 'T' is for total focus on goal of a self-reliant India, 'R'- resilient India, 'O' for opening up ourselves to new horizons, 'N' stands for nationalism and 'G' stands for gearing up for a better tomorrow."
Speaking in a separate webinar, Goyal said the government is working towards using the current crisis to strengthen the economy and make India a self-reliant country.
He said the government announced an Aatmanirbhar Bharat package, several initiatives were taken and "many many more that are on drawing board, will be unfurled in the days and months to come".
Addressing the convocation ceremony of Meghnad Desai Academy of Economics, he said Aatmanirbhar Bharat does not mean looking inwards or closing doors for the world.
"There will be products where we will have to continue to import, India is not against imports per se, India is not closing its doors to global engagement, India is expanding it wider," he added.