The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in collaboration with the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, held the largest ever Partnership Summit over a virtual platform during 15-18 December 2020.
The Partnership Summit, CII’s annual flagship international event, provides a global platform for dialogue, debate, deliberation and interaction among people from diverse walks of life.
Organized in the backdrop of the Covid-19 inflicted world, this year’s summit was uniquely positioned in the background of an increasingly changing geopolitical landscape and the evolving economic, trade and investment scenario, with the theme of “Partnerships for lives, Livelihood and Growth”.
This year’s summit coincided with the commemoration of CII’s 125 years as a national organization, committed to India’s national development in the global context.
With over 260 speakers from around the world and 50 sessions, the virtual event brought together eminent speakers and a much larger global audience this year, making it a vibrant and thought-provoking series of sessions.
An array of wide-ranging topics was covered, including geopolitics, international trade, technology, economy and finance, among others.
Key outcomes arising from multiple discussions from global policymakers, business leaders, global investors and experts would serve as an useful guide for strategizing and strengthening future policy, especially during the difficult circumstances created by the pandemic.
With this view in mind, CII has compiled the Partnership Summit 2020 Report to present the proceedings of the summit, that also includes the detailed outcomes, actions and recommendations from various sessions.
The report features a compilation of these outcomes from critical domains, broadly grouped under 7 key tracks.
Geopolitics and Strategic Affairs
Given the backdrop of a rapidly changing geopolitical landscape, the sessions explored various emerging trends that are reshaping global dynamics.
A strong need for building collaborative action around the Indo-Pacific and addressing the Indo-Pacific policy for all players in the international arena was one of the key suggestions that emerged from the sessions. Working with the new US administration on climate change and a more open visa regime, and the need for taking serious steps towards economic thought and action were some other ideas put forward under this track.
Economy and Finance
Global experts, economists and top industry leaders came together to deliberate on the post-pandemic economic situation, offering solutions and way forward to navigate through the global recovery process.
The need for extending support to stressed sectors disrupted by the pandemic, laying down a roadmap for fiscal consolidation by 2022 and facilitating robust corporate bond, debt and credit default swap markets were some of the critical suggestions that emerged from the various sessions. The discussions covered global as well as domestic economic developments.
The sessions on international trade focussed on trade and production linkages in the post-Covid era, with a view to restoring international trade flows that were severely disrupted due to the pandemic.
The need for WTO to address contemporary challenges and plan for future recurrences of similar global emergencies, the role of the G20 in creating a strong and coordinated policy response and exploring newer areas for cooperation while building closer partnerships were some of the critical recommendations made by leading trade experts during the Summit.
Investments was a key area of the Summit, with a focus on building and strengthening international partnerships.
The need for India to undertake greater investment efforts in engineering colleges and IT skills, greater investments in biotech, ensuring time bound approvals and bringing greater certainty in procedures for foreign investors were emphasized. Several countries held sessions to outline their plans for attracting investments including incentives and business facilitation. Various states highlighted the investment opportunities in their respective regions as well.
The critical sessions of technology deliberated on relevant and emerging issues including the future of jobs, global digital economy and advent of new technology and tools, among others.
Some key recommendations from the session were – bringing out clear guidelines on data privacy and data ownership to promote fintech, upscaling digital infrastructure to provide high speed connectivity to all sections of society, developing a national strategy to enable technology adoption and promoting upskilling among Government bodies, among others.
Inclusive and sustainable development, global cooperation on climate change and environmental concerns were major focus areas under the sustainability theme.
The session presented important views from global experts, such as ensuring policy decisions based on scientifically collected data and supported by adequate research; engaging Indian cities to build climate resilience by integrating nature based solutions; facilitating more discussions with Green Digital Finance Alliance and exploring opportunities for future collaboration.
The session on global cooperation on healthcare brought together health experts and policymakers from across the field, for proposing actions for handling crisis and health situations.
Some of the key suggestions from the session focussed on ramping up systems for vaccine wastage management, developing a common platform for building investments, innovation and institutions, and greater training and education programmes for building a robust healthcare sector.
The Partnership Summit Report is expected to provide useful directions for future policymaking and presents actions required from both the Government and the industry on key issues, which would help policymakers to chart India’s growth trajectory and help industry deepen its international footprint.