NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi recently called upon Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and entrepreneurs to identify and develop five items whose imports could be stopped by 2022 so that the Country’s needs could be met by domestic production.
India continues to have a significant trade deficit in goods even as it has reduced since 2014-15. In 2016-17, merchandise exports stood at $276.28 billion even as imports soared to $384.31 billion.
The $108.03-billion deficit has been explained in terms of skewed trade relations with manufacturing hub China as well as India's dependence on exporting raw materials rather than finished goods.
Addressing 200 top CEOs from across the Country as part of the second edition of ‘Champions of Change’ series organised by the NITI Aayog, Modi said that entrepreneurs needed to develop products through which imports of costly medical equipment could be curbed.
“We develop products keeping in mind markets and claim that they are cheaper than others,” Modi added.
“We need to look for agro products that can capture targeted markets like in the Gulf and then integrate them with food processors, farmers, and companies,” Modi said.
Touching upon the issue of food wastage, he said that the Centre opened up food processing to foreign direct investment and was now looking at private players and investors to build storages facilities which would have multiple applications.