Policy Roundtable on Mission-Oriented Industrial Policy Making for Successful Structural Transformation: Lessons for India

The Institute organized a policy roundtable on the topic “Avoiding Government Failure: Mission-oriented Industrial Policy Making for Successful Structural Transformation” based on research work by Prof. Ludovico Alcorta, UNU/MERIT, and Adjunct Faculty, ISID on September 30, 2022. The presentation discussed the debate on mission-oriented industrial policy, the nature of industrial policy mission, conditions of success of industrial policy mission, key aspects of industrial policy design, and how to ensure effective policy implementation Industrial Policy was widely applied in developing countries between 1950’s and 1980’s, rather successfully in East Asia but less so in other regions. Poor economic performance in Latin America and Africa was perceived by the Washington Consensus as arising from ‘government failure’ leading to the final years of last century and the beginning of the present millennium to a resurgence of orthodox ideas promoting little state intervention and economic liberalization. The results that followed have not been highly satisfactory either so recent years have witness renewed calls for industrial policies that help the structural transformation of developing economies.

Avoiding one of the main problems faced by the industrial policies of the past requires developing and implementing effective industrial policies. Industrial policy must now prove itself superior to its absence and show it has learnt lessons from experience. A prerequisite for this is to generate an industrial policy process both in content and form that delivers sound measures.

The roundtable discussed the challenges faced by developing countries in constructing such industrial policy processes. Specifically, it argued that mission orientation while necessary may not be enough to achieve structural change as other conditions need to be met for industrial policies to work. It also zoomed into the design and implementation aspects and stages of the policy making process to address precise requirements. The presentation was followed by a rich discussion initiated by Mr. Ajay Shankar, Former Industry Secretary, Government of India, and Visiting Faculty, ISID; Prof. R. Nagraj, Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum; and Dr. Clovis Freire Jr, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Geneva. The policy roundtable was moderated by Prof. Nagesh Kumar, Director, ISID. Around 70 persons attended the webinar and more than 25 persons had viewed it at the YouTube till 30th September 2022.

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