The Quad Group Should Strengthen Trade Partnerships too to Counter China!

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  • The recently concluded Quad group summit between the top leadership of the USA, Australia, India, and Japan have succeeded in giving more formal identity to the newly formed alliance in many ways. As is known globally, the four-country Quad group came together on the back of Beijing’s expansionist and ambitious misadventures venturing out into territories claiming historical rights disturbing the well-established global order. The pandemic also essayed a defining role in quickly bringing along these democratic countries since China never shied away from exhibiting aggressiveness whenever the situation suited its blatant expansionist agenda.

PC: Teller Report

  • No wonder, China is increasingly becoming defensive by the day owing to geopolitical realignments which it strongly desists. People following closely on matters related to international occurrences would have noticed the promising outcome of the first in-person leaders’ summit last week of the Quad grouping that meshes economic integration with the overarching strategic motive. Undoubtedly, India is an immediate beneficiary of this thrust. The resultant outcome is to note that the Quad Vaccine Partnership is financing a manufacturing expansion of domestic vaccine maker Biological E.
  • Most notably, the summit’s joint statements aptly highlighted other potential areas of collaboration that could go a long way in firmly establishing the credentials of cooperation. The clean hydrogen partnership, a semiconductor supply chain initiative, and telecommunications are three potential areas for us. If the abovementioned areas are seriously pursued by grabbing the opportunities, there is no way India could be prevented from making a substantial leap on technological as well as economic fronts. Apart from governmental collaboration, the private sector collaboration will have a pivotal role in the essay if the Quad’s economic potential is to materialize as envisaged.

PC: Peter Hartcher

  • It is interesting to observe that the Quad economies are the antithesis of China in terms of economic times as private firms operating in rules-based market economies drive things forward. Nonetheless, whatever the potential exists with the newfound impetus will have to be realized by majorly private firms. In the same vein, it is also evident that private firms need enough incentive to invest here if the Indian economy is to benefit from the opportunity arising out of the group. Thus, India is left with no option but to integrate into global value chains (GVCs) consummately and efficiently. An important factor influencing integration envisaged is the level of trade costs here through both tariff and non-tariff barriers.
  • Without getting into semantics, suffice to say that there has been a marked shift towards protectionist measures that have on average increased trade costs. This will result in discouraging potential GVC investments. The need of the hour is to further create a favorable strategic environment on the back of supportive trade policies persuading GVCs to come here. Inevitably, the economic think tank does not let go of this historic opportunity arising out of closer ties of the Quad grouping by reorienting our trade regime to draw in FDI that binds the Indian economy to GVCs extensively. More work on war footing should be followed up.