In order to promote brand India in global markets, the Commerce and Industry Ministry is planning to hold day-long deliberations with stakeholders. Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that promoting and protecting brand India outside is important for gaining access to global markets, not just inviting investments. It will also help the domestic market, she said. "We plan to hold day-long deliberations on this.
People from all over the world can give ideas on what we need to do to promote Indian brand abroad," she said in New Delhi at a function on 'Make in India'.She said that the ministry would revamp the IBEF (India Brand Equity Foundation) in terms of ways to do the branding exercise in the future. IBEF is a trust set up by the Department of Commerce. Its primary objective is to promote and create international awareness of the Made in India label in markets overseas and to facilitate dissemination of knowledge of Indian products and services. On the government's initiative to increase the share of manufacturing to 25 per cent by 2025, the minister said work is moving fast on further improving the ease of doing business and trade facilitation. On increasing competitiveness of India's exports, she said the ministry is in discussions with the railway ministry to reduce the mounting logistics costs and smoothen freight movement across the country. On why Indian companies are cautious in terms of investments in the domestic markets, she said: "I think, Indian companies are cautious but the time for cautiousness is over. They should have the bullishness." Talking about Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and their financing issues, she appealed banks to do brainstorming with SMEs on the matter as the sector has huge potential for growth. "I will strongly urge banks to understand how to fund SMEs in a sustained manner," she said, adding that they can play fundamental role in increasing manufacturing sector's share in GDP (gross domestic product). When asked about her expectations about the interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India, Sitharaman said that the monetary policy committee panel has made a good beginning. The commerce minister urged industry associations to increase membership of SMEs as it will become easier to hold discussions with them at one platform. "Otherwise it is very difficult to access them together at one platform," she added. Talking about the investment cycle in India, Maruti Suzuki Chairman R C Bhargava said that 'Make in India' should become make competitively in India. "Competitiveness implies both quality and cost of production," he said adding there is a need to look at competitiveness in terms of why countries like Vietnam are attracting investments in manufacturing and not India.