Tuesday, June 22, 2021

“Invest India” Wins UNCTAD Investment Promotion Award

Invest India is the National Investment Promotion Agency of India. The United Nations (UNCTAD) has declared Invest India as a winner of the 2020 United Nations Investment Promotion Award. This award recognizes and celebrate the best practices of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) across globe. The UNCTAD has evaluated 180 IPAs and declared Invest India as the winner. This week, the award ceremony took place at the UNCTAD Headquarters in Geneva.

The UN Investment Promotion Award is the most coveted award for Investment Promotion Agencies. The past winners of the award – prior to India- have been Korea, Singapore and Germany. The UNCTAD is a central agency that monitors performance of IPAs and identifies global best practices.

Against the backdrop of covid19 pandemic, there is a transition in the focus of Investment Promotion Agencies from “business as usual” investment facilitation towards crisis management and articulating government’s Economic Emergency Pandemic measures. These promotional services are conducted in the digital platform online and asked the staff to “Work from Home”. How IPAs responded to the covid19 pandemic has been the predominant criteria for the evaluation of the 2020 UN Investment Promotion Award. UNCTAD appointed a team for monitoring and evaluation of IPA responses to pandemic in March 2020. The UN published the best practices of investment promotion agencies in the IPA Observer in April and July 2020. These publications highlighted the long term business strategies, stakeholder outreach, business reconstruction and supplier outreach. They elaborated the social media engagement and focus COVID response teams. The best practices of Invest India such as the Business Immunity Platform, Exclusive Investment Forum webinar series have been highlighted by UNCTAD as best practices. Invest India has also shared long-term strategies and practices being followed for investment promotion, facilitation and retention at UNCTAD’s high-level brainstorming sessions.

In a recent webinar on Department of Science and Technology’s Golden Jubilee Discourse Series titled “On the other side of the Pandemic” organised by National Council for Science & Technology Communication and Vigyan Prasar, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman said that Indian economy will be among top economies in the world in next few years using science, technology, and innovation in all sectors, bouncing back soon from after effects of COVID 19.

The Secretary of the Department pointed out that the department of science and technology has helped Indian economy to grow at desired rate, using innovations, science and technology and start-ups. The central universities in Kashmir, Sikkim and Assam have set up ‘centres of excellence’ to research on climate change. NITI Aayog Vice Chairman mentioned that a creative destruction has happened during the pandemic, that the covid19 pandemic has changed many things and shown new ways of doing things. He added that this metamorphosis is going to stay in the post-COVID world. He highlighted the significance of an innovative economic system in the post-COVID world.

As per the latest GDP estimates by National Statistical Organization, Indian economy post-COVID has been in the recovery mode after the first quarter. NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr. Rajiv Kumar, has said that Indian economy will rebounce in the next few quarters from the effects of COVID-19 disruptions. He also shared a very optimistic view that the Indian economy will grow by an average of 7-8 percent in next 20-30 years.  He also shared that India may become the third-largest economy by 2047.  The government is committed to “structural reforms” in India like improving the ease of doing business, innovation ecosystem where every school student has access to the innovative tools and trends. The government’s economic and policy efforts is to open up more windows for India to gain from the current vacuum in the global supply chains. At the same time, government would focus on reforms to enable a conducive environment for Start-ups, micro, small and medium enterprises, and other businesses, and propel a global market for local products.

Script: Dr. Lekha S Chakraborty, Professor NIPFP & Research Faculty Associate. The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, New York

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