When G20 Leaders meet this week in St. Petersburg, Russia, they will be united in their focus on creating jobs and promoting growth and investment.
To succeed, the world’s largest economies must eliminate trade barriers and level the playing field for international commerce. When even one country veers off course, it harms everyone.
That’s why unfair trade practices like forced localization requirements and weak intellectual property protection in India – the world’s third largest economy – are so very damaging.
India’s high tariffs and trade barriers have long made it one of the most protectionist countries in the G20, as indicated in the charts below.
Now, unfortunately, India’s policies are getting worse. To benefit its own domestic corporations, India is blocking trade and discriminating against manufacturing and jobs everywhere else.
Protectionist policies like these must be a top concern for the G20. If not addressed, others are sure to follow India’s unfortunate example – with disastrous consequences for the global economy.
Some are already taking notice. European trade commissioner Karel de Gucht has warned of “[l]ooming protectionism is now more than ever a significant threat to global growth,” as quoted in the Telegraph.
India must take notice too. As a result of its misguided policies, it is falling behind its peers. It is one of the most difficult countries for business and ranks near the bottom of the G20 in “enabling trade”.
India’s economic growth is slipping and employment opportunities are diminishing. Capital is fleeing a closing Indian economy where reforms have stalled and there are no signs of progress.
It hasn’t always been this way. Twenty years ago India launched market-opening reforms that set the stage for two decades of rapid growth.
Restoring investor confidence and boosting growth will mean returning to the path of reform, eliminating forced localization barriers and strengthening protection of ideas, brands and inventions.
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