Monday, January 15, 2007
Speech on South- South Cooperation 15 January 2007
The Consultancy Development Centre of India had organised a two day congress on "Consultancy and services- global market" at India habitat centre on 15-16 Jnauary 2007. I was invited to speak at the session on South-south cooperation on 15th.
I modified the subject to south-south partnership for 2 reasons. first, cooperation sounds idealistic, moralistic and one risks being labelled as an idealist or hypocrite. Secondly, cooperation has governmental altruistic connotation. In my view, government is only one of the players in the south-south interaction. The others are business and civil society. When all these three become stake holders, the south-south partnership becomes sustainable and win-win for all involved.
South-south partnership is no longer a rhetoric or slogan. It has become a quiet reality with another name ie regional integration. I gave the example of how Brazil and Argentina who were rivals like India and pakistan have now become partners in the framework of Mercosur. Today Argentina does more trade with saopaulo state than with USA. They have free movement of goods, services, capital and people. The Argentinian and brazilian people, business and governments have mutual stake in the prosperity of each other and they have a durable partnership. Same is the case in Andean group, central american group and caricom. The west Indies cricket team and the university of west indies are shining examples of south -south partnership.
The s-s partnership has helped the latin americans get over past conflicts and has reinforced the stability and growth of each other and given collective strength.
Then I spoke about the development partnership programme of Government of India which gives ITEC scholarships, aid projects, lines of credit and promote trade with other south countries through FTA and PTA.
Indian cos have been adding value to other countries. eg Kirloskar has contributed to agricultural production of Laos, TCS - to human resource development of uruguay, chile and brasil, Ranbaxy - to reduction of cost of health care in Brazil and Mittal, Jindal and Essar- to manufacturing in Trinidad and Bolivia.
India- Brazil- South Africa ( IBSA), the new cafe con leche ( coffee with milk ) alliance is a promising south-south partnership.
The session was cochaired by the ambassador of dominican republic and Mr Ghosh CMD of Consulting Engineers ltd. There was a speaker form pakistan and another from malaysia.