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Home > Business > Business Headline > Report

IES winds up on a positive note

December 08, 2004 11:23 IST

India will go beyond being a services hub to become the food factory of the world, and the industry must come together on this front.

This is the message with which Tarun Das, chief mentor, Confederation of Indian Industry, wrapped up the 20th India Economic Summit.

The summit has seen a real change in leadership as well as generations. From being purely government oriented in the first year, it has eventually come to focus on opening up sectors.

"Next year, we will not only take forward the 'services hub' image of India but also evolve as a food factory for the nation," Das said.

Agreeing with Das, James Goodnight, chairman and chief executive officer of SAS Institute, said industries needed to re-orient their priorities and implement more research on increasing agricultural production and improving agro-services.

As a 'take home' for the 600 delegates, business leaders like Rahul Bajaj, chairman and managing director of Bajaj Auto, and NR Narayana Murthy, chief mentor of Infosys, said industry must work with the newly formed investment commission to achieve the level of $150 billion in new investments in 10 years.

India & the World Economic Forum

"There is also the need to increase awareness about corporate governance and implement reforms and bring in more competition in the financial sector," Bajaj said.

And it is just not corporate governance, Bajaj also called for strong political governance. "There is a strong recommendation from India Inc that the political parties should be more disciplined. From 30-40 parties fighting general elections, there should be just two-three parties that are much more competent," Bajaj said.

India Inc must convey to the world that India has become a manufacture friendly nation and can compete with China.

There is also an immediate need to open up the retail sector and these should materialise soon so we can take more issues forward in the 21st summit, which would be held from November 27-29, 2005, he said.

Enumerating the recommendations for the trade ministry, Murthy said corporates wanted a stronger strategic relationship with Europe and China.

"There should be more focus on South-South trade and identifying more non-tariff barriers and mitigating them, and the government should facilitate it," Murthy said.

Others like Michelle Guthrie, CEO of Star Group Hong Kong SAR, said there was an urgent need for the government to provide an enabling environment and move out to let the market forces play.

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