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Can India find its manufacturing mojo as the world trade lines get redrawn?

Japan buying Russian oil at prices above a cap imposed by its allies is the latest proof of how geopolitical repositionings are leading to trade realignments. Another is the West’s growing apprehension of China. These developments are opening doors to several new business opportunities for Indian companies.

As a new world trade order takes shape, India’s moment of reckoning has very much arrived, says Sundi Natarajan, Co-founder and Chief Financial Officer of Sparksoft Corporation, a tech company. He lists four events to validate his statement.

First is the February announcement of Air India procuring 200-plus aircraft from Boeing and US President Joe Biden, saying this “historic agreement” will “support over one million jobs across 44 states” of the US. This development, Natarajan says, highlights the growing clout of the country’s businesses. The second is the discovery of massive lithium reserves in Jammu & Kashmir, which can reduce India’s import dependence on countries like China for the key component of electric vehicle batteries and give boost to the country’s green energy goals.

The third event on Natarajan’s list is US Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen, emphasising what the virtue of “friendshoring” can do to spur Indo-US trade ties. “Friendshoring is the next avatar of offshoring. It basically means working with partners or friends to actualise supply chain and trade win-wins,” he says.

This could mean new opportunities for India Inc in services and manufacturing. The final event is the announcement of the Biden loyalist Eric Garcetti as US ambassador to India, a position that has been unfilled for about two years. With India at the helm of G20, the world’s largest economy has sent a clear message where it puts India on the priority list, he explains.


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