*To be taken seriously, be a serious trader – The Economic Times

Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/et-editorial/to-be-taken-seriously-be-a-serious-trader/articleshow/91695357.cms

Synopsis

Despite this, the impression is that India first committed and then backed off, a reputation India can ill afford. While not a fair comparison, during the second wave of Covid, India said it would not be able to undertake new export commitments as it had to meet domestic requirements.

India’s decision to limit export of wheat has not gone down well with its trading partners. With wheat from Russia and Ukraine accounting for a third of global exports now out of reach of many markets, many countries were looking to India to help meet the supply gap. India stepped in allowing for exports. However, successive extreme heat events meant that India’s wheat production was 10-15% below projections, leading to a rethink on exports. India has subsequently made it clear that exporting wheat to food-deficit countries on request from governments will be allowed, and private companies are free to meet existing commitments to export nearly 4.3 million tonnes of wheat through July.

Despite this, the impression is that India first committed and then backed off, a reputation India can ill afford. While not a fair comparison, during the second wave of Covid, India said it would not be able to undertake new export commitments as it had to meet domestic requirements. It is nobody’s case that India – or any other country – ignores its domestic needs. But better projections, assessment and planning could have prevented the blowback. The need for improved planning and clarity in messaging is critical for India, especially as it set the goal of becoming a global hub for clean energy and wants to be part of the reordered and diversified global supply chains.

India is slated to be the fastest-growing economy for the better part of the decade, and it is natural that it would want to play a bigger role in the world. For that, it must ensure it acquires the capacity to do so and become the reliable, dependable trading partner it seeks to be. If it wants to sit at the big table, India must act as a big player others can depend upon.

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