The plenary session on “South-South Development Cooperation: The Role of Emerging Economics”, held on the penultimate day of CII Partnership Summit organised in Bangalore threw up fresh insights on building partnerships between developing economies. At the session, Mr Anup K Pujari, Director General of Foreign Trade, Government of India, underlined the importance of building trust among the developing countries in order to increase the level of South-South Cooperation. He also spoke about how international arbitration pertaining to trade is being misused by some states.
Mr Pujari underlined the need for quality and innovation to go together. He asked the CII Institute of Quality and the CII Institute of Innovation to work together with various countries to ensure that we maintain our honesty in both product and service sectors. As regards South-South Development Cooperation, he said that India has walked the talk and concluded by saying that “if you want to trade, do it with us; we are there with you”.
Mr Nalin Suri, Former High Commissioner, India to the UK, stated that it is important to understand the difference between development cooperation and development assistance because the developed countries of the west have been trying to rope in the developing countries of the South to coordinate policies with them on aid. The developing countries need to carefully negotiate with the western world. So the challenge before the South countries would be to sustain and enhance their growth and development by focusing on domestic demands and much greater interaction within the South.
Indian private sectors play an important role in South-South Development Cooperation by serving the needs of developing countries. Mr Sayyad Adb-Al-Cader Sayed Hossen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mauritius, addressed the issues linked with poverty alleviation, health, technology and infrastructure that still persist in many African countries. Active participation of emerging countries has helped the expansion of South-South Trade.
The role of emerging countries in South-South Development Cooperation should be seen through concrete action by funding of private projects, transferring appropriate technology and their engagement in multilateral forum to promote the interest of developing countries. The combination of economic cooperation between the private sectors of emerging and developing countries is the most element of South-South Development Cooperation, he said and added that governments and businesses need to work hand in hand in this sphere.
Mr M C Bimha, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Zimbabwe spoke about social, cultural, political and technological dimensions of South-South Development Cooperation. He focused attention on regional integration, as Africa cannot be viewed as a strong economy unless there are strong sub regional cooperation efforts within the continent. Mrs Janet Zebedayo Mbene, Deputy Minister for Industry & Trade, Tanzania, stated the key thesis on the subject saying that developing countries, such as Tanzania cannot stay in isolation to reach the development level.
Tanzania now feels the crucial need for cooperation with Indian economy. Mrs Mbene said the old Indo-Tanzanian relationship has developed into a dynamic bilateral economic cooperation endeavour. The establishment of the Joint Trade Committee allowed interaction of both governments on economic, political and cultural issues.
Mr Pan Sorasak, Secretary of State, Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia, appealed to the business community look East. He referred to the significant expansion of India-Cambodia cooperation in diverse fields. Total bilateral trade in the year 2011-12 was $107.07 million. Cambodia also actively participates in the Kimberley process. Mr Vikram Kirloskar, Chairman, CII Innovation Council & Chairman, Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA) expressed concern over the lack of appropriate technologies for South countries in areas like medicine, auto manufacturing, etc.
In his concluding remarks, Mr Sanjay Budhia, Chairman, CII National Committee on Exports, stated that the traditional views of the developing countries are changing and they are much more involved in South-South Development Cooperation. Supportive policies of the Government and rapid increase in the cross-border trade have helped strengthen the developing economies.