India has emerged as the fastest-growing large economy in the world for the third consecutive year and is expected to continue that trajectory with CII projecting a GDP growth rate of around 6.5-6.7% for FY 2023-24. This sustained economic growth will provide much-needed resources and impetus to bridge the developmental gaps, enhance investment in crucial sectors, and raise the standard of living for citizens, working towards the vision of becoming a developed nation by 2047.
Continuing this path of transformation over the next 25 years will be crucial to catalyse this change and retain this growth trajectory. India is strategically charting an independent course, based on its own priorities and values, in an increasingly volatile global economy framed by changing geopolitical scenarios. By leveraging innovation, embracing digitalization, fostering entrepreneurship, and ensuring equitable development, India can elevate its position on the global stage. With this backdrop, CII has identified ‘Towards a Competitive and Sustainable India@100: Growth, Livelihood, Globalisation, Building Trust’ as its theme for the year 2023-24.
This theme was specifically designed to create an enabling environment that aligns with India’s vision of becoming a developed nation by 2047. It recognizes the importance of competitiveness, sustainability, globalization, and trust as critical elements in realizing this goal. In particular, the theme highlights the significance of building trust between all stakeholders, including the Government, Industry, society, consumers, investors, and the external community, to foster collaborations and create a conducive ecosystem for India’s sustainable development.
As we embark on a dynamic growth era towards 100 years as a nation, CII will continue to remain the driving force for nation-building. Through collaboration, policy advocacy, and knowledge sharing, CII will work hand-in-hand with Industry leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders to unlock the full potential of India’s growth story and shape a prosperous and inclusive future for our nation.
This year, CII’s activities and initiatives will be based on the following key priorities:
The collective participation of firms across the supply chain is vital to building competitiveness and lowering costs. Growth of firms contributes significantly to job creation and therefore, increasing scale of operations will catalyse employment opportunities. CII has had a strong and ongoing focus on competitiveness since long and over the years, we have set up Centres of Excellence (CoEs) that provide a range of capacity-building services for Industry. Quality and certifications, productivity of SME, logistics, and manufacturing excellence will be prioritized to reach the next level of enterprises through a range of learning programs.
Enterprises must enhance climate action, developing expertise in energy efficiency and waste, water, and biodiversity management. India’s net zero emissions goal by 2070 necessitates intensified sustainability focus, particularly in challenging sectors. Renewable energy, circular economy, electric mobility, and waste management contribute to this objective. Over the coming year, CII’s CoEs for sustainability will expand focus on climate action and reporting, water management, green buildings, and energy efficiency. Policy engagement for a just transition and concrete action by corporates to meet climate change targets will be intensified to meet climate imperatives.
One of the critical drivers of reaching the target of US$ 40 trillion by 2047-48 will be the manufacturing sector. The services sector will be the other key driver of growth for India to reach this target. The next generation of policy reforms would focus on regulatory infrastructure, judicial reforms, administrative reforms, and empowering businesses. CII’s policy advocacy with ministries, regulatory institutions, and state governments based on research and Industry inputs would remain on the fast track with constructive and practical suggestions.
With technology as a key growth differentiator in coming years, a CII Centre of Excellence on AI is proposed with a focus on advocacy, research, application and growth through ethical AI. CII will also set up a Task Force on Semiconductors to engage Industry in the semiconductor mission of the Government.
A focus on livelihood fosters inclusiveness in growth through generation of jobs, skilling and capacity building, education, and healthcare. On the other hand, entrepreneurship development ensures the stability of the growth process. CII has undertaken a range of steps for encouraging and strengthening micro, small and medium enterprises, supporting startups, working for empowerment of women, and engaging with youth.
Over the year, CII will establish two new multi-skill training institutes and facilitate the enrolment of 20,000 apprentices to scale up its skilling work that reaches out to 1 million youth a year. CII will also set up a Task Force on Ayurveda to develop policy ecosystem, exports, and wellness initiatives and institute a Mission on TB.
India’s growing trade and increasing inward investments position the country as a potential global manufacturing and investment hub in the near future. According to CII’s analysis, the share of exports of goods and services in GDP is projected to rise from 20.1% in 2021-22 to around 25% by 2047-48. Goods and services exports could reach US$ 6.4 trillion and US$ 3.9 trillion by 2047-48 from their current levels of US$ 0.4 trillion and US$ 0.2 trillion respectively.
Government policies play a crucial role in fostering external engagement. As India increasingly looks outward for its growth, CII will intensify engagement with value chain participants, overseas investors, and SMEs.
Trust is vital for a country’s growth and facilitates a fair regulatory environment, allowing markets to operate freely. Corporate governance is evolving to encompass broader aspects, and enterprises that meet societal expectations enjoy long-term advantages with consumers, investors, and governments. Creating an atmosphere of trust is crucial for building strong relationships and reaping sustained benefits in the business landscape. In view of this, CII will set up a Task Force on Building Trust.
CII will also set up Quality Mission 2.0 to establish global benchmarks and standards and recognise and award best practices/ standards. As a pioneer in corporate governance, CII would continue to work on corporate governance awareness, dispute resolution, and corporate social responsibility.
With a strong action agenda and continued policy advocacy, the CII theme of ‘Towards a Competitive and Sustainable India@100: Growth, Livelihood, Globalisation, Building Trust’ will be taken forward through all our Centres of Excellence and regional, state and zonal offices across the country for a more prosperous and inclusive nation.
This article was first published in the July 2023 issue of CII Policy Watch, focusing on the theme, “Towards a Competitive and Sustainable India@100: Growth, Livelihood, Globalisation, Building Trust”.