“Setting up a High-Level Export Strategy Committee will implement the five-point agenda set out by the Prime Minister for enhancing the competitiveness of Indian PSEs by 2022. A short-term (5 years) and long-term (10 years) roadmap for the PSEs, clearly laying down exports and growth targets, is the order of the day to enhance their geo-strategic reach,” stressed Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director-General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
CII Research has brought out a report ‘Can the Indian PSEs enhance their Geo-strategic reach’, which presents a roadmap to expand exports and geo-strategic reach of PSEs by 2022. It recommends that PSEs bid for international projects as a consortium, leveraging each other’s mutual competence, experiences and strengths. They should also leverage regional and bilateral trade agreements in sectors where they have a comparative advantage.
Most PSEs have been exporting and/or have an international presence. As per the CII report, they now have presence in over 80 countries across diverse regions with majority concentrated in the South Asian region. A number of them are moving away from their traditional markets to new markets, such as Africa and Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV).
The report points out several domestic and external barriers, which are inhibiting the PSEs’ ability to enhance exports. Lack of autonomy, multiple procedures, management gaps, and so on lead to loss of potential business opportunities.
The report further identifies that many PSEs do not even have a dedicated international desk or in-house teams which can support exports and international competitive bidding. There are wide variations in terms of support available from the Nodal Ministry/Reporting Ministries of the PSEs. CII suggested a well-defined process for sharing of information between the Indian Embassies, nodal ministries, PSEs and their associations.
The CII report underscores that India’s Public Sector Enterprises can enhance their geo-strategic reach by 2022 with the actioning of the 15-point recommendations for the PSEs, government and industry associations.
Create a short-term (5 years) and long-term (10 years) roadmap for the PSEs, clearly laying down exports and growth targets
Set up a High-Level Export Strategy Committee to help the government to implement the five-point agenda set out by the Prime Minister for enhancing the competitiveness of the PSEs by 2022
Participate pro-actively in international events and market development initiatives
Bid for international projects as a consortium, leveraging on each other’s mutual competence, experiences and strengths.
Focus on exports:
Identify new markets and exploring opportunities in existing markets. Among the new markets, the focus could be on Africa, CLMV and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), where there is huge untapped potential
Work closely with industry associations and government to build ‘Indian PSE’ brand in export markets
Work with government to design “WTO Smart Subsidies”
Contribute actively to Foreign Trade Policy
Partner with innovative Indian start-ups and high technology companies in the private sector to offer more goods and innovative solutions in export markets
Have dedicated international desks of at least 4-5 members, which can help in providing in-depth knowledge of potential foreign markets and can help to participate in international competitive bidding processes
Focus on competitive bidding for acquiring international projects and identify support that is needed for competitive bidding
Contribute to data-driven, evidence-based policymaking:
Leverage regional and bilateral trade agreements in sectors where Indian PSEs have a comparative advantage
Government, industry bodies and PSEs should work together in identifying and implementing global best practices for improving their productivity, efficiency and competitiveness
Be a part of Industry 4.0 - Invest in research and adopt advanced technology
Address manpower shortages:
Work with the Government to understand the core political and strategic goals. Any policy to promote exports should also look at the resource endowment and manufacturing capabilities of the PSEs and how they can be used to support India’s interest.
Long-term political strategy and planning is needed for the success of the PSEs as they often invest in strategic and long-term projects abroad. Each nodal ministry should have an international desk.
23 November 2019