India Should Take Senior Policy Recommendations Seriously

In late 2019, a commission of senior advisers to the Government of India new set of proposals from the High Level Advisory Group (“HLAG”) on trade policy, which was established by India to review trade policy and, calls for reforms on trade, investment, and regulation that would maximize economic growth. Many of the proposals complement AFTI’s goal to create a balanced, mutually beneficial relationship between the United States and India, including:

Invest India

Founded in 2009, Invest India has done well facilitating foreign investment, the commission is concerned that it operates “only an advisory role and no executive powers.”   The commission suggested boosting Invest India’s authority, autonomy, funding, and global reach. In particular, Invest India should be “answerable to an apex decision-making body” and have the authority to grant incentives and issue licenses that will help cut red tape, reduce protectionist policies like forced localization, and speed up investment in India by American industries.

Medical Devices

The commission found that India’s medical device “regulations and policies were set when we were a controlled economy.” AFTI agrees that “peg[ging] Indian [medical device] standards to global standards” would “enhance high-end manufacturing.” It would also help American manufacturers, by eliminating costly duplicative testing requirements and halting efforts underway to expand India’s unique standards even further.


India’s pharmaceutical industry, which is heavily concentrated in the generics market, faces twin challenges of increasing competition in the global market and recurring concerns regarding product safety. To address both issues, we agree that “India should become a member of Pharmaceutical Inspection Convention and Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme (PIC/S).” Joining PIC/S in full would be a full embrace of global best practices, which will increase quality and patient safety and boost India’s market access and general competitiveness.

The full report is here.