‘Increasing protectionism will hurt India’

Mary P. Humphrey

India need to not turn protectionist if it wants to proceed attracting international investments and continue being aspect of present source chains, claims Dutch Ambassador to India Marten van den Berg. In an interview with BusinessLine, he talks about how India and the Netherlands ended up cooperating in regions of […]

India need to not turn protectionist if it wants to proceed attracting international investments and continue being aspect of present source chains, claims Dutch Ambassador to India Marten van den Berg. In an interview with BusinessLine, he talks about how India and the Netherlands ended up cooperating in regions of trade, expense and science to offer with the Covid-19 crisis. Excerpts:

With the pandemic impacting businesses throughout the world, are there particular actions getting planned by the Netherlands and India to restore bilateral trade and investments?

Considering that anyone has been faced with lockdown, it will result in source distortions. We ended up functioning carefully with the Indian authorities (during the lockdown) to aid organizations to hold manufacturing processes working, especially in essential regions. What we are now looking for is accelerating specified processes. We ended up getting discussions with the Indian authorities in regions these types of as healthcare, water and electrical power wherever we can facilitate investments.

How are Dutch organizations in India reacting to the crisis?

Dutch organizations in India see unfavorable effect on the demand size. But they are in India for a lengthy time period partnership. Corporations these types of as Shell and Philips have been in this article for a lengthy time. Even with the economic climate contracting, several of them are looking at the chance to expand expense. That is quite essential. We do have discussions on how we can facilitate the investments and also on the reforms that are required. To promote bilateral expense and trade, it is essential that markets continue being open and that we never raise protectionism.

There is also a large discussion going on in re-shoring of source chains in both of those personal and public sector. Provide chains ought to be pushed by charge efficiencies. We have experienced near discussions with Dutch organizations in India. They are evaluating their source chains. If there is a risk in source, organizations might re-organise the source chain.

So, what can a region like India do to continue being a aspect of present source chains?

It is essential that protectionist policies never raise, either via escalating tariffs or FDI limitations. For the reason that source chains adhere to a rational process, if you raise protectionism you will have to pay a selling price for it. A region demands to handle the problem of security of source with world or regional source chains and not national source chain. It shouldn’t nationalise its source chains.

How can the two nations around the world get the job done collectively in this time of economic crisis brought on by the pandemic?

Economies are contracting in Europe and also in the Netherlands wherever we might have a 4-seven for each cent contraction. India, way too, is greatly impacted by the pandemic. At the similar time, the troubles that we deal with in health, sustainability and inclusiveness are much more pertinent than ever. We are getting discussions with particular Ministries, like agriculture, on how to speed up expense and trade.

In what ways can the Netherlands aid Indian agriculture?

We can facilitate accomplishment of India’s goal of doubling farmers earnings and also aid it turn into a much more sustainable agriculture producer. For case in point, India has a great deal of residual farm production as it is quite complicated for it to export for the reason that several nations around the world never allow residues of chemicals in veggies and fruits. In the EU, India has problems with rice and grapes. Possibly Indian farmers ought to end applying chemical fertilisers or use just fewer quantities. So we are functioning with India not only to raise productiveness but also sustainability which makes exports significantly much easier.

What is the scope for cooperation in electrical power and health wherever your region has a expanding presence?

Though India is incredibly ambitious on renewable electrical power, with a concentrate on photo voltaic, it is still looking to coal as a electrical power resource. It is quite essential to stage out fossil fuels. We have the possibility to get the job done quite carefully on a single hand to stage out fossil fuels, at minimum coal, which is quite polluting, but also to raise use of renewables. There are chances also in off shore wind wherever Dutch organizations are functioning with Indian counterparts.

Overall health is one more essential region and we are functioning to deliver health to distant regions. Philips, for instance, is functioning with the Indian authorities at State and national stages to make electronic health much more reasonably priced and out there to massive team of people today in India.

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