New Delhi: As India prepares for turning into an economic superpower, it has to simultaneously take steps to overcome institutional and infrastructure bottlenecks that are inherent in the system. While industrial sector registers high growth levels it must ensure that the rate of depletion of natural and social capital is stalled.
Inaugurating an international conference on sustainable industrial network, organized by CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development in association with NetPEM, VITO, and supported by EuropeAID and NIR, Meena Gupta, secretary, ministry of environment & forests, government of India, said that India was at a critical stage to balance social and environment capital with rapid economic growth. The Indian economy experienced a GDP growth of 9% during 2005-06 to 9.4% during 2006-07
Indian firms develop models of sustainable development
The primary goal of sustainable industrial networking is to promote sustainable development at the global, regional, and local levels. Many Indian companies are recognizing the challenge of going global and looking at the implications of sustainable development.
Sustainable Industrial Network (SINET) is promoting sustainable use of renewable resources and minimal use of non-renewable ones. The challenge of SINET is to reduce the overall environmental burden on an industrial system that provides some service to society.
Indo-Swedish exchange on the rise
“There is an increasing interest about India in Sweden in the political and business arenas”, confirmed Lars-Olof Lindgren, ambassador of Sweden to India. Swedish businesses have realized that while their engagement in China needs to continue, India cannot be ignored.
The increase in business engagement between the two countries is reflected through the increase in bi-lateral trade. Swedish exports to India, for instance, grew by 42% in 2006, as did Indian exports to Sweden. While both countries have benefited from open economic policy, globalization has posed the challenge to remain competitive.
Sweden spends 4% of GNP in research and development to come up with solutions to environmental problems.
Steve Rochlin, CEO, accountability, North America, said that while problems were known to all, who was accountable to solve these problems. How do we look at development and competitiveness? Responding to challenges has bearing on national competitiveness.
Enabling environment for stronger competitiveness quotient
Adding a fifth dimension to Michael Porter’s competitiveness model, he stressed the need for an enabling environment to provide a level-playing field to progressive companies and to build responsible competitiveness. Civil and private sectors need to be provided with incentives to take accountability for solving challenges. Collaborative governance is the solution to make stakeholder constituencies accountable.
Arun Maira, chairman, Boston Consulting Group (India) said that traditional paradigm of development have been followed by the developed countries. However, for sustainability, a new paradigm of development was needed. Natural networks could provide valuable lessons for self-sustaining economic networks.