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CII Theme for 2016-17

CII Theme for 2016-17

Building National Competitiveness

India's economy is widely expected to grow above 8 per cent in the medium term. Long-run Competitiveness should be the chief goal of the nation. The right vectors can unleash economic productivity, such that we sustain this growth rate for a generation. Only then can we meet the development expectations of our people.

We can leverage our demographics if we stress employment generation and entrepreneurship, and build a powerful Brand India. Innovative Government initiatives such as Make in India, Smart Cities, Clean Energy, Digital India and Skill India have structured an ecosystem for national transformation.

Ease of Doing Business can result in huge cost competitiveness for the nation. Efficient governance at all levels can lower transaction costs by 15 per cent and enhance India’s national competitiveness. A competitive industry requires productivity across the supply chain, from the smallest to the largest firm.

Industry can accelerate its productivity down the supply chain through broad-spectrum instruments. Quality assurance, sustainability, resource management and relentless improvement must be internalized by industry, including the smallest enterprise.

We seek to work in alliance as national, regional, state and zonal office-bearers and secretariat, as industry body and officials in government, to jointly deliver these national objectives.

The national competitiveness endeavor comprises the following components:

1. Human Development: Education, Skill Development and Healthcare must be as inclusive as possible. India’s demographics are its main advantage – 63% of our population is of working age, and the dependency ratio has fallen to 0.55 – amongst the lowest in the world. Over 470 million Indians will enter the workforce over the next two decades. Our highest priority is to ensure they participate in, and benefit from, economic growth.

2. Corporate integrity and good citizenship: Compliance with laws and regulations is an entry ticket to participating in the global economy. We need to go beyond, to being good citizens that enhance economy-wide skills, provide equal opportunity and access for all, and ensure a minimum standard of employment practices to both direct and contract labour.

3. Ease of Doing Business: The last year has finally seen improvement in India’s ranking in the World Bank’s indicators. Much more needs to be done, particularly at the State and cross-ministerial level. This would particularly benefit small and medium firms. The government’s EODB initiative is hugely welcome. We must work with the government at all levels, in detail and systematically, through the year so that the average firm finds it easier to do business in March 2017 than in April 2016.

4. Innovation and technical capability: Technical progress accounts for over half the economic growth of the last two hundred years. Countries that have been the most successful in catching up with the rich world, from South Korea to Singapore to China, have used innovation as their primary instrument. For industrial innovation to become the growth driver it is elsewhere, much must change, both within our firms and in policy.

5. Sustainability: India has made deep commitments in Paris to improve our carbon to GDP ratio, increase the share of renewables in our energy mix, and expand reforestation. All need the active participation of industry.

6. Integration with the world: India needs to deepen its integration with the world economy and emerge as a global growth driver. Building Brand India through a consistent convergence of Government and industry efforts is required. Our stance on trade policy must shift from a focus on defending access to the Indian market to ensuring market access for Indian firms worldwide.

CII would take stock of these dimensions through the year and foster discussion among government, civil society and industry. We would focus on the potential of industry to be the catalyst for national development. To implement our theme of Building National Competitiveness, we will articulate the initiatives and metrics for each sub-theme.

Download CII Theme For 2016-17