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SAWTEE co-organized a session “Industrial Policy in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution” at International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)’s inaugural Trade and Sustainability Hub on 2nd December 2021. The session covered the South Asian Perspectives on industrial policy in the context of the fourth industrial revolution. 

Background Note  

South Asia was, at least until the Covid-19 pandemic, the fastest-growing region in the world. Despite heterogeneity among its economies, their governments agree on the need to preserve policy space in WTO negotiations. They see the industrial policy as a powerful means to effect growth-enhancing structural economic transformation. Instruments such as tariffs and subsidies have regained prominence in the wake of the pandemic that exposed the vulnerability of global supply chains. More and more industries are being deemed "strategic". What tools are optimal to nurture the digital industry and economy and benefit from digitalization are emerging as important industrial policy questions, especially with the boost received by digitalization amid the pandemic. Add to this the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) that is fast underway with a lot of imponderables, further necessitating a rethink of industrial policy. This session will present South Asian perspectives on industrial policy in the context of the 4IR.