As India looks to reduce overdependence on other countries and tap newer markets during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the government has identified 12 priority sectors with potential for import substitution and boosting exports, said Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal Monday.
“We also appreciate that every country cannot be competitive in everything and we will need to import certain products where we may have certain difficulties. But the effort should be to move more and more towards self-reliance,” said Goyal while addressing the 184th annual general meeting of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“COVID has taught us a big lesson — overdependence can cause you a lot of difficulties in the time of stress. And, God forbid, (if) there’s any other similar challenge before the rest of the world, I think next time around, India will be far better prepared (and) far more confident to face any such crisis.
“In our own way, we have been identifying sectors where import substitution or export potential is there in big measure,” Goyal said, adding that the priority sectors identified so far include food processing, organic farming, iron & steel, aluminium & copper, agrochemicals, electronics, industrial machinery, furniture, leather & footwear, auto parts, textiles and marine products.
“… we’re looking at more sectors. And I would urge all of you to also look at what sectors we can look to really promote Indian (manufacturing), just like we have done for electronics, medical devices or for APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients) and KSMs (key starting materials),” he said. Goyal also said India should focus on investment, infrastructure, and innovation in the post-COVID world.
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