Why Isn’t India a Major Global Player? The Political Economy of Trade Liberalization
The policy reforms initiated in India in the mid-1980s and expanded in 1991 helped support an expansion in India’s trade. Trade reforms since the mid-1990s have been piecemeal. This paper argues that without significant further reform and adoption of a focused trade strategy, the competitiveness of India’s industry will suffer, including in areas such as information technology and related services in which India has established a strong global niche. Critical building blocks of such strategic reforms include further reductions in tariffs, opening services sectors to foreign competition, serious initiatives to reduce trade transaction costs that prioritize integration into international supply-chains, and a greater focus on regional integration.
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