India Summit. States Of Nations. 25th October 2018. Mumbai
India Summit 2018 will bring together policymakers, business leaders from domestic and international companies, and respected political and economic commentators, to place the spotlight on the states’ necessary role in driving the national economic and social agenda.
The day’s programme will evaluate how states are performing in the areas of attracting investment, making it easier to do business, supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, improving access to quality education and, ultimately, contributing to India’s long-term growth and development.
About the summit:
Narendra Modi’s ascent to India’s top job can be traced back to his success in his home state of Gujarat. As chief minister there, Mr Modi established a policy framework that helped attract foreign investment and improve the lives of Gujaratis. Those who aspire to win the prime ministership now have a clear model to follow: first, do well at home and outperform the leaders of rival states.
Many in the current batch of chief ministers appear up to the task of boosting their state’s fortunes. Maharashtra aims to cement its place as the country’s financial and corporate capital by implementing business-friendly policies. Delhi, Telangana and Karnataka welcome deep-pocketed investors and are courting start-ups to set up shop in newly created “tech hubs”, hoping to become home to the next unicorn (a private company valued at $1 billion or more). And four years after Mr Modi’s departure to run the country, Gujarat’s economy is still going strong.
India’s political system, which gives states significant power to implement local rules and enforce laws, means that good leadership at the state level is key to the country’s success. While all have a role, the bigger states and those with the greatest growth potential must play their part for India’s development to stay on track. But are local governments using their power to best effect?
India Summit 2018 will place the spotlight on the role states must play in driving the national economic and social agenda. The day’s programme will evaluate how states are performing in the areas of attracting investment, making it easier to do business, supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, improving access to quality education and, ultimately, contributing to India’s long-term growth and development. Can the economically, culturally and socially disparate collection of states and territories which make up India work together for the country’s benefit?
- Can India’s economically, culturally and socially disparate collection of states and territories work together for the country’s benefit?
- How can competition between states spur growth?
- Which state performs best in the areas of attracting investment, supporting innovation, providing quality access to education and contributing to national growth?
- Which states give the best access to quality education, and how can their models be reproduced?
- Is India’s middle class opportunity a myth?
- How much has India’s business climate improved under Mr Modi?
- Will GST in its current form do more harm than good?
“I think the event covered the most relevant economic issues and challenges that the country is facing and the outcome of the discussions was indeed positive. The entire event was conducted in a positive light reflecting India as a country at the verge of a major leapfrog growth.” Managing director, RGF Executive Search India
“The event was full of diverse speakers from renowned institutions. I loved the way how varied topics were covered ranging from Economy, Innovation, Manufacturing etc. Kudos to the organised team as well.” Co-founder, Leaf Wearables
“The Economist India Summit is a much anticipated red letter day in my annual calendar!” Vice president, Indian Council for UN Relations
REGISTRATION AND REFRESHMENTS
CHAIR’S OPENING REMARKS
COMPETE TO GROW
The economic policies of the Modi government have yet to deliver robust growth, and many parts of the economy remain unreformed. The effects of the demonetisation initiative of 2016 are still being felt, and many economists question the accuracy of the 8% growth rate.Yet much of India’s hopes for growth must be pinned at the state level. Which among them are doing best at rolling out sweeping economic reforms, creating jobs, building much-needed infrastructure, improving connectivity and paving the way for businesses to invest? How seriously do they take the competition between them, and how can national policy help them individually?
DOING BUSINESS IN INDIA: WORK IN PROGRESS
When asked if India is an easy place to do business, most corporate chiefs say “not yet”. The country performed something of a miracle in jumping 30 places last year on the World Bank’s ease of doing business rankings to stand 100th out of 190 countries. Has India’s business climate really improved so much under Mr Modi? Which states are the most attractive investment destinations, and what sets them apart from the others? Ultimately, what do business leaders need most to empower them in helping to drive growth and prosperity across the country?
ASK THE ECONOMIST: MR MODI’S REFORMS—A TENTATIVE SCORECARD
Much of Mr Modi’s reform agenda has been delivered through programmes like GST and demonetisation. But many expected more broadly sweeping reforms to dismantle decades of socialist-era policies. Land remains an intractable issue, the labour market has stayed difficult to navigate, most banks are still state-owned, and there has been little progress in returning the commanding heights of many industries to the private sector. If a popular right-wing government with a mandate for reform won’t take these on these challenges, who will?In this session, a panel of editors from The Economist will discuss Mr Modi’s performance and consider what his second term may look like. The audience will also be invited to ask questions.
EMPOWERING THE YOUNG
In this technological era, when blue-collar job growth is slow, future growth and prosperity must be built on the cornerstone of education. New skills will enable young graduates to find jobs by meeting the needs of modern, tech-driven companies. Yet, too few Indians outside major cities have access to high-quality education. Though Indian technology institutes and colleges, such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), do well in global rankings and churn out bright students who find well-paying jobs, too many Indians still struggle to get quality schooling. Which states give the best access to quality education, and how can their models be reproduced?
BEYOND THE RHETORIC: NURTURING INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
India’s innovative start-ups have stolen headlines in recent years by receiving billions from domestic and foreign investors. Realising the potential these firms present for job creation, growth and investment, many states have retooled their policy frameworks to show they are open for business and provide conducive environments for entrepreneurs. But is there substance beyond the start-up-friendly rhetoric? Where do start-ups prefer to set up businesses, and which states and cities are most hospitable? And how can the young business leaders of tomorrow, who have national and global ambitions, capitalise on what the most forward-thinking states are offering?
GST: THE WINNERS AND LOSERS
GST will subsume many of the complex state taxes that have made doing business in India a challenge. Yet, as part of deals to attract outside investment, states often used local taxes as bargaining chips in negotiations with companies. Is the GST bad for individual states? Will businesses in the informal economy be able to adapt to the new system? Which industries are most or least affected?