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Atma Nirbhar to an eye on 50% of the Global R&D Services Market – India Aims High

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NEW DELHI: The O/o Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India and the Department of Commerce took the initiative through the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) to organise, over video conference, the 1st Roundtable on the “Promotion of R & D Services Exports from the country”. The Roundtable had participation of over 180 scientists, government and private research organisations. Senior officials from the Department of Commerce, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Reserve Bank of India, Department of Science & Technology, Department of Bio Technology, Department of Telecom, MEITY, CSIR, ICMR, members of the trade, academia, start-ups and veteran exporters and many other government and private organisations.

Addressing at the Roundtable Mr Sharad Kumar Saraf, President, FIEO appreciated the Government’s decision to more than double the investment in the R&D sector to around 2% of GDP. He said that this will help the R & D services sector to grow and also double its exports in the coming years. He urged the state governments also to come up with larger participation and extend support to the R&D services sector. Presently, he added, it is more of the central government driving the promotion of R&D services exports. Mr Saraf requested the Government to incentivize the R&D services exports through schemes like SEIS etc., enable the right infrastructure and ecosystem in the country, provide right regulatory regime, streamline taxation etc., to provide encouragement and ensure growth of the sector and also provide a level playing field in the international market. He added that R&D is extremely important to change the profile of India’s exports to put more focus on high technology exports.

Prof K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India delivering the keynote address said that COVID-19 pandemic has many lessons for the future. One striking lesson is that countries need to step up their investment in R&D in order to prevent such a crisis. Investment in R&D also needs to be undertaken through global collaboration and coordination. This has underscored the importance of exchange of R&D services across the globe. R&D exports are more relevant today than ever.

He added that the attention of policy makers so far has been on high-tech merchandise exports as a country’s engagement in high technology exports (HTX) reflects the sophistication of its economy, level of productivity and future capabilities. Government appreciates the need to propel growth in the services sector and boost its exports in the R&D sector. India’s scientific manpower has been doing exceedingly well globally and they have already created a niche in the global R&D sector. And, the developed countries acknowledge the fact and recognizes Indian talent and their technical expertise. Prof VijayRaghavan said that a sort of India brand for the R&D sector has already been established in the global market.

He said that we need more FDI to flow into the sector, more enterprises to come in and set up their R&D facilities in the country. India has targeted an FDI investment of US$ 500 mn in the coming year. It is important to align with “Atmanirbhar Bharat” mission of achieving self-reliance. Prof K VijayRaghavan highlighted the business opportunity on R&D services offered by FIEO through its mobile app Niryat Mitra, wherein global Technology requests, technology offers and also global R&D collaboration opportunities are covered.

Dr Arabinda Mitra, Scientific Secretary; Mr Bidyut Behari Swain, Special Secretary, Department of Commerce; Dr Ajay Sahai, DG & CEO, FIEO, Mr Siva Prasad, NASSCOM and others shared their views on promoting R&D Services exports from India. Industry leaders from Philips India Ltd, Deki Electronics Ltd, Siemens Ltd, Cyient Ltd, Robert Bosch Engineering & Business Solutions Ltd, Electra EV, General Electric India, Landisgyr shared the challenges faced by them in the exports of R&D services from the country.

On the occasion, Prof K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India launched a prototype of the R&D Services Exports eCommerce Portal which will enable the interested Indian parties to create their eStore on the Portal with ease, go global and also transact business.

In order to encourage and also acknowledge the R&D Services exporters Prof K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India also announced the institution of National Awards, along with FIEO, for the sector starting 2021-22.

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