“ASEAN and India have a deep historical connection. The momentum which we need to push it is marked by 3 C’s of Culture, Commerce, and Connectivity,”said Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology and Law and Justice. He was speaking at a panel on Trade in Services at the ASEAN - India Business and Investment Meet and Expo being organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of External Affairs and the ASEAN Secretariat in New Delhi.
He highlighted that Indian IT companies do not go abroad to replace jobs but create jobs and capacity and use new technologies which empower people. “Indian people first learn technology, then adopt it, then enjoy it and therefore get empowered,” he said, emphasising India’s agenda in digital services promotion including in agri services.
H.E. U Khin Maung Cho, Union Minister of Industry, Republic of the Union of Myanmar said, “We must boost our economic and societal connections and use information technology to deepen economic engagement. We must see technology as a common denominator to generate more jobs and engage in other sectors of the economy.”
Flagging the need to give as much importance to trade liberalisation and facilitation measures to service trade as is seen in goods trade, Mr. Anup Wadhawan, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government India, said, “We cannot envisage the full potential of goods trade without similar openness in services. Services trade has seen a lot of misplaced sensitivities that has created barriers to services trade especially the temporary movement of services professionals.” These and more need to be addressed. India’s proposal at the WTO for Trade Facilitation in Services modelled along the recently adopted Trade Facilitation Agreement is India’s effort toward marking this importance.
Mr. Subhash Goyal, Immediate Past President IATO and Chairman, STIC Travels Pvt. Ltd. noted that India’s outbound tourism is about 60 million tourists annually. The Indian government’s e-visa system is a credit to this. "The quality of personalised service in ASEAN and India is unmatched anywhere else. This is a testament to our cultural commonalities,”he said.
“ASEAN has been successful in creating integrated economies. We must complement that with India’s e-governance initiatives which help reduce corruption and drive growth and job creation,” said Mr. Jagdish Mitra, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer and Head, Growth Factories, Tech Mahindra Ltd.
Mr. Rajan Navani, Chairman CII Council on Future Businesses and Managing Director Jetline Group of Companies, noted the massive opportunity that exists between India and the ASEAN region. He emphasised the need to see policy itself as innovation that could allow the two regions to work more closely given their complementary skill sets.
January 23, 2018