Cross border digital transmissions & Indian MSMEs | Dr Badri N. Gopalakrishnan | K-Hub

In the third edition of the K-Hub Series, we interact with Dr Badri Narayanan Gopalakrishnan, Fellow and Former Head, Trade, Commerce and Strategic Economic Dialogue, NITI Aayog, Government of India, on the impact of cross border digital transmissions on Indian MSMEs.

A recently conducted research by Dr Gopalakrishnan focused on ‘The impact of cross-border digital transmissions on the MSME sector in India and benefits of the WTO E-commerce Moratorium. This is considered an extremely sensitive topic as many experts have argued against the continuation of the moratorium on customs duties on e-commerce exports, since it helps create digital monopolies, stifles nascent enterprise in developing countries and also deprives their governments of much needed revenue.

However Dr Gopalakrishnan’s research presents a counter view to the effect that this moratorium is helping Indian MSMEs across sectors becoming competitive. His research shows a positive correlation between growth in digital transmissions and the rise in value added, employment and labour productivity of these MSMEs. Moreover, the OECD has found that India’s share of global estimated digital trade exports grew by roughly 400% – from 1% in 1995 to nearly 4% in 2018.

The rate of growth of India’s digital trade exports eclipsed even that of China’s, whose share grew by 235% from 2% in 1995 to 6.7% in 2018 (OECD 2023). Watch this interview for Dr Gopalakrishnan’s perspective on why the growth in cross border digital transmissions could continue to be more beneficial for MSMEs. At the same time, he acknowledges the need for more intense stakeholder discussions on this very important topic, considering how the role of digital technologies in global trade is growing at an accelerated pace.

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