Big lesson from small nation: Import substitution cannot deliver “Make in India for the World”

Big lesson from small nation: Import substitution cannot deliver “Make in India for the World”
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By Arvind Panagariya and Deepak Mishra

In 2015, turning its back on trade liberalisation, India decided to promote mobile phone industry through import substitution. The eventual goal of the switch was to make a success of “Make in India for the World”. Have we turned a corner as seems to be widely believed?

Imports of telephones had risen from $3.2 billion in 2009 to $7.5 billion in 2014 and have fallen to $2.2 billion in 2020. Alongside, exports had fallen from $3.5 billion in 2009 to $0.6 billion in 2014 and have risen to $3.0 billion in 2020.

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