Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Government of India, has emphasised that the digital economy is critical for India to make government services and welfare benefits accessible to remote areas of the country seamlessly. He said that for smooth transition to Industry 4.0 and smart manufacturing, the government was working on a policy, which addresses issues such as data security, data storage and privacy.
Addressing an interactive session, ‘Digital Economy Commission Meeting’, organised by the International Chamber of Commerce, the Indian affiliate of Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and an associate body of FICCI, Abhishek said that to provide last-mile connectivity in far-flung areas, the government has expedited the process of connecting 150,000 gram panchayats with broadband services.
Highlighting various initiatives of the Government of India, Abhishek said that India clocked the highest FDI last year and in 2017 has already surpassed the numbers of 2016. The ease of doing business and transparency in transactions were being brought about in business and trade.
Yaduvendra Mathur, Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog, said that by December 2017, all government agencies would adopt the digital way of transacting. The digital way of living and the mass movement to move towards digitisation would ensure inclusive growth. He added that the government was working towards increasing the number of digital payments substantially in 2017 by creating appropriate policies and infrastructure.
Mathur said that ICC should work towards facilitating seamless trade finance across the globe as lack of such finance was hurting businesses. He added that ICC and FICCI should also engage in augmenting the number of arbitrators in India and develop capabilities to strengthen India’s arbitration system.
Speaking about ICC and the digital economy, Christiaan van der Valk, Co-Founder and President, TrustWeaver and Vice Chair, ICC Digital Economy Commission, said that ICC’s approach to advancing the global development of the digital economy and stable growth of ICTs combines policy and regulatory advocacy, along with the promotion of best practices aimed at business and governments alike. He added that the United Nations (UN) General Assembly has granted Observer Status to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), which had sent a powerful signal that the UN recognises business as a vital partner.
Subhrakant Panda, President, ICC India, said that ICC’s unique global network spans 6.5 million members in more than 130 countries and this makes ICC the only business organisation as the representative of every facet of business. Leaders from more than 50 countries help businesses to comply with policy, legal and regulatory frameworks. He added that ICC was working towards ensuring stable functioning and sustainable and inclusive growth of the digital world.
Dr A Didar Singh, Secretary-General, FICCI, said that trade facilitation and trade finance were two areas that needed ICC’s attention and added that a linkage between digitalisation and the trading environment should be created. He assured FICCI’s active support to ICC in this regard.