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Last updated: 28 Apr, 2020  

Covid.9.thmb.jpg nCov: A potential manufacturing opportunity

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Bikky Khosla | 28 Apr, 2020
The raging Covid-19 has continued its near-unstoppable march across the globe, though the situation, according to the Centre, has somewhat improved here in India, opening up the debate whether it is the time now to think how to get out of the lockdown with some more riders. Amid this gloom, however, the pandemic, some experts point out, has brought an opportunity for India to become a manufacturing hub after the crisis is over.

According to recent reports, several countries are now considering to shift their manufacturing units from China. Early this month, Japan announced sops to help its manufacturers shift production of high-added value products out of China back to Japan and of other goods across Southeast Asia. In fact, even before the nCoV crisis had reared its head, many Japanese companies were contemplating such a move, fearing negative effects of the US-China trade war, and the Corona crisis is now acting as a catalyst.

Similarly, the US-China trade war had promoted several US manufacturers to think about leaving China before the epidemic erupted in Wuhan, and now with the COVID-19 crisis, a new dimension has come to the fore. While US political anger toward China is already evident by now, US manufacturers in China – in order to avoid catching themselves in similar straits again -- no longer want to rely solely on China, and no doubt, the main beneficiaries of this could be Southeast Asian nations, including India.

In other words, the post-COVID global economic order will offer an opportunity for India to attract the foreign manufacturers now operating in China. However, it will not happen automatically and depend entirely on how we welcome them and what we would do to retain them. According to media reports, Uttar Pradesh is already planning to reach out to firms that could be planning to shift their base to India from China – a step that other states should follow. The Centre should come out with a similar plan to lead this endeavour.

I invite your opinions.

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