On protectionism, domestic competitiveness and suppling to international markets, Niranjan Rajadhyaksha discusses this and other impossible trinities in his weekly column for LiveMint.
"The alternative would have been a few large business groups getting a tight grip on the Indian economy. Domestic competition would have been even less than it was. Many Asian countries also had dominant business groups during these years—the Korean chaebol are among the best known in this category—but their domestic economic heft was tempered by relatively lower trade barriers. Integration into the larger global economy at the very least forced Asian conglomerates to be competitive. India embraced that model in 1991, by abandoning protectionism to re-integrate itself with the global economy.
The world is at a turning point right now, and protectionist sentiment is growing. The geopolitical need to contain China is also a valid concern. India is also showing signs of moving towards a limited form of protectionism, though not as severe as what we saw in the 1970s. The economic case for global economic integration is a powerful one, and some of the arguments about why India should be a trading nation were mentioned in a joint article in this newspaper by Vijay Kelkar, Raghunath Mashelkar and me."
Read the full article here.