Resilient supply chains without protectionism and reinforced by an open trade policy are imperative: France

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France, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, called for resilient supply chains and open, fair and transparent trade without protectionism and maintaining a fair balance between local sourcing and chain integration of global value in what can be interpreted as suggestions for China, the United States and India.
“We also need to build resilient supply chains and champion open, fair and transparent trade. This cannot be achieved by isolationism, protectionism or unilateralism, contrary to what our American friends think ”, suggested Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France in India, delivering a speech entitled“ Resilience in the Indo- Pacific ”organized by the largest Indian audience. politician Ananta Aspen Center as part of their Ambassadorial series.Amid the global debate on alternative supply chains to reduce overreliance on supply chains from a single country, Lenain suggested that resilient supply chains and fair trade require two elements. . “The right balance between local sourcing and the integration of global value chains. In this regard, let me stress that a country can hardly integrate value chains without a proactive and open trade policy. This is important for businesses in India and France. In this sector, there is room for improvement in the discussions between India and the European Union. Sectoral economic agreements, precursors to the long-term goal of an FTA, are possible, necessary and achievable within a five-year government mandate. Second, a business environment that attracts foreign direct investment. FDI is essential to facilitate joint ventures, jobs and technology transfer. The 600 or so French companies are already doing well in India, for example in solar and wind power (EDF, Engie, Total, Schneider Electric, Technique Solaire). But they are ready to do more to strengthen our respective industrial and technological bases.

It goes without saying that in the end private companies will choose the country in which they invest and work. Therefore, political mobilization on the resilience of supply chains must be supported by strong economic policies, the envoy stressed.

These economic policies must be supported by a functioning multilateral trading system, suggested the senior diplomat. “For France, the WTO must be at the center. The WTO should be reformed, on the one hand, to restore its ability to adopt new rules, on the other hand, to ensure that the rules are enforced. It is important to overcome the blockade of the Appellate Body of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body … It is equally important to work globally on fiscal governance and to fight against non- taxation and tax evasion. This is particularly pressing in the digital sector. This is essential to maintain the financial capacities of States to act and, therefore, their resilience. ”

“… We must work on a legal framework which allows the free flow of data between the European Union and India, which guarantees confidentiality and which upholds our vision of the digital economy. This is important for our long-term economic ties. The bill discussed in the Indian Parliament is essential in this regard. France, as well as the European Union, will remain active partners of India to strengthen its resilience.

France has the ambition to build solid cooperation on health issues with India, including research. India is a key player and producer of drugs. France has expertise to share in this area (internationally recognized research centers, Institut Pasteur, Mérieux foundation, French companies present in India such as Sanofi).
“To achieve resilience, our efforts will need to be complemented at the multilateral level. In this regard, France supports the “COVID-19 Tool Accelerator” (ACT-A initiative). It aims for an equitable global distribution of treatments and future vaccines, as well as the strengthening of health systems. This initiative is essential to strengthen our resilience, ”according to Lenain.

The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure launched by India should be appreciated and strengthened in this context. It aims to promote disaster resilient infrastructure through research and the sharing of best practices. France is proud to have joined this Coalition, said the envoy.

Resilience can also advance through solar energy, which is a resilient, low-carbon way to generate energy. This is the reason for our commitment to the International Solar Alliance, launched five years ago by India and France at the COP21 in Paris. It aims to support countries in the development of solar programs and facilitate private investments, the envoy said.

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