Impact on trade and value chains during Covid period affected less developed countries: G20 summit

The impact on the global value chain during the Covid pandemic has given a severe blow to the global trade and economy. During this period, trade restrictions and pressure on supply chains particularly affected less developed and low income countries. Prof. Mustafizur Rahman, Centre for Policy Dialogue Bangladesh, was expressing his views while chairing the Plenary Session-5 of Think 20, “New Complementaries in Trade and Value Chains” at the Kushabhau Thakre International Convention Centre.

Prof. Rahman said that today when we are talking about global development, it is imperative that our model of development is inclusive. To ensure the participation of underdeveloped and developing countries with competitiveness, there should be access to technology and special trade provisions, which help these countries to access the global market. He said that in today’s fast changing economy, there is a need to further strengthen the global value chain.

Participatory innovation, dissemination of information and integration of knowledge is key to empowering global value chains

Dr. Posh Raj Pandey, Chairman, SAWTEE, Nepal mentioned the adverse impact of changing geo-political, geo-economic environment on trade and value chain. Advanced technology, reducing the cost of communication and transport system along with universal access to digitization will be helpful in empowering the value chain. He also stressed on triangular cooperation along with South-South, North-South cooperation. Along with global value chain, regional value chain should also be strengthened. Participatory innovation, supply of information and integration of knowledge will be a positive initiative in this direction. The availability of capital and rationalization of non-tariff barriers in the less developed countries will strengthen the global value chain and promote trade participation.

India’s G20 presidency gave the message of people-centred development model to the world

Mikatekiso Kubayi, Researcher, Institute for Global Dialogue, South Africa, began his address by expressing his gratitude towards the warmth and welcoming spirit of the citizens of Madhya Pradesh and Bhopal. Kubayi said that India’s G20 chairmanship under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the message of people-centred development model to the world. He said that development is not just GDP growth but positive progress in the lifestyle of every person. He said that infrastructure development is needed to promote trade in Africa today. For this, Africa needs finance at a reasonable rate. This will provide a global market to local products, which will help in making African countries self-sufficient. Referring to the decisions taken in the previous G7 and G20 meetings, Shri Kubayi called for the commitment of the global community to follow them.

Need for participatory environment instead of competitive environment to promote global trade

Oluseun Andrew Ishola, Centre for Management Development (CMD), Nigeria said that promoting global business today requires a participatory environment rather than a competitive one. Today it is clear to us that the competitive environment has not been able to bring positive results in global well-being. Ishola suggested setting tariff and non-tariff barriers according to the interests of the Global South.

Global community should unite on “Local Production to Global Consumption”

Prof. Naval K Paswan, Dean, School of Social Sciences, Sikkim University said that despite the availability of cheap labour in less developed and developing countries, the cost of global trade is high due to transportation costs, tariff-non-tariff barriers. He said that for development it is necessary that local products get adequate place in the global value chain. Expressing concern, Prof. Paswan said that today big multinational companies are taking advantage of the global value chain, while small and medium scale industries are still not able to take advantage of it. Today is the time that the global community should make a united effort on the concept of “Local Production to Global Consumption”. By making global value chain inclusive, jobs will be created and we will be able to achieve truly global development. During this, he mentioned the efforts being made under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to ensure local participation in the Global Value Chain in India. Prof. Paswan underlined the efforts of India’s National Logistics Policy, Gati Shakti, Sagarmala etc.

Reforms should be done in trade policy considering public interest as the basis

Prof Sait Akman, The Economic Policy Research Foundation, Turkey virtually participated in the session. Prof. Akman highlighted the different types of Global Value Chains. He informed that today India’s participation in the global value chain is increasing at the fastest rate in the world. He said that boosting the efficiency and increasing the capacity of the global value chain will reduce the trade cost. With this, about 2 crore 20 lakh global population can come out of extreme poverty. At the same time, improvement in the livelihood of 40 percent low-income population can be ensured. He called for discussion with the global community on trade policy reform in the upcoming WTO sessions considering public interest as the basis. Intellectuals from different countries including India and representatives of international organisations were present in the session.

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