OTHERS

PM assures more steps to promote SSI exports

NEW DELHI, MAY 8. The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, today underlined the need to replicate the country's success in information technology in other knowledge-based sectors of the economy like pharmaceuticals, electronics and bio-technology. ``Government will not fail to bring about changes required to achieve success and global standards in these sectors,'' he said.

Mr. Vajpayee also indicated that more steps will be taken to promote small-scale sector exports. It had to be ensured that export growth is not limited to big industry. Some measures had already been taken to promote small industry exports, he said. ``Further necessary steps shall be taken,'' he said.

Speaking at a function to present the National Export Awards, he noted that export expansion is now a ``fundamental requirement'' in the context of own development objectives. Exports helped in many ways in the overall development process such as assimilating changes in technology, management systems and international best practices in terms of product quality, packaging and marketing.

The Prime Minister who described high export growth as a national goal, said to achieve it the approach to international trade in the era of globalisation needs to be re-oriented. He pointed out that many developing countries have used the opportunities offered by a global economy to achieve dramatic export-led economic growth, leading to overall prosperity. In this context, he said globalisation also makes countries inter- dependent especially through trade. This was the reason that India had urged that developed nations must provide genuine market access to developing countries.

Earlier, the Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr. Murasoli Maran, stressed that market access issues are ``strategic issues'' in the present world economy. Giving examples from the American model of Government-industry cooperation, he said the country's trade policy needs to become pro-active rather than reactive.

Referring to the rapidly changing global scenario, he observed that Cold War geo-politics has been replaced by ``geo- economics.'' This was a theory which held that trade matters as much as military security and trade is one of the stepping stones to prosperity of nations and peoples.

He emphasised that there was a simple equation-Indian exports equal Indian jobs. There needed to be a special focus on exports to make them an engine for creating more employment and higher economic growth while integrating it with older employment generating initiatives.

A 1995 study showed that Washington spent $28 billion promoting commerce and business, he noted.