Industrial Policy Challenges for India: Global Value Chains and Free Trade Agreements, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Industrial Policy Challenges for India

Global Value Chains and Free Trade Agreements, 1st Edition

By Smitha Francis

Routledge India

250 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

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This book looks at the debates on global value chains (GVCs) and free trade agreements (FTAs) as springboards for industrial development in developing countries, especially India. It connects the outcomes in GVC-led industrial restructuring and upgrading to industrial policy choices in trade and FDI liberalisation, in particular those through FTAs.

With the share of manufacturing in GDP stagnant at around 15–16% since the 1980s, India’s policymakers have pinned their hopes on greater integration into GVCs to revitalise the manufacturing sector. The multiple FTAs the country has signed over the last few years, specifically the ones with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), South Korea, Malaysia and Japan have been sought to be rationalised using the same argument. The book argues that failing to factor in the industrial policy causalities involved in sustainable indigenous technology development, structural barriers to the entry into GVCs, the assessments of the available evidence on the adverse impact of trade and FDI liberalisation as well as existing FTAs on firm-level incentives for undertaking domestic production, and the industrial policy constraints imposed by FTAs can prove costly for the trajectories of developing country economies, including India.

Rich in data, this book will be useful to scholars and researchers of development economics, economics in general, development studies and public policy as well as government bodies, industry experts and policymakers.


‘Ably examining the interactions between trade and foreign investment "liberalisation" and other industrial policies, and their implications for Indian industrial restructuring, Smitha Francis critically considers Indian participation in global value chains, especially electronics, and with plurilateral "free trade" agreements.’

Jomo Kwame Sundaram, former UN Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development

‘India’s economy is delicately poised in the context of today’s globalisation. Smitha Francis’s theme that India urgently needs firm-level industrial policy is well argued, convincing, timely and relevant beyond India.’

Pasuk Phongpaichit, Professor Emeritus in Political Economy, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

‘A path-breaking book, which undertakes a critical look at the interactions between trade, FDI, global value chains and manufacturing sector in India. A highly recommended book for researchers and policymakers.’

Abhijit Das, Professor and Head, Centre for WTO Studies, New Delhi, India

‘Global production networks have changed forever the way in which cross-border transactions in goods and services are conducted. Smitha Francis has provided a remarkable account of this complex phenomenon with considerable deftness. This volume is a must-read for all students of international economics.’

Biswajit Dhar, Professor, Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables


Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Industrial Policy: Evolution of the Discourse

Chapter 3. Global Value Chains: Heightening the Industrial Policy Imperative

Chapter 4. Liberalisation Sans Industrial Policy: The Experience of Indian Electronics Industry

Chapter 5. Industrial Policy Constraints in Indian FTAs

Chapter 6. Conclusion



About the Author

Smitha Francis is Consultant with the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (ISID), New Delhi, India. Her research interests cover the interfaces between different processes of trade and FDI liberalisation, industrial policy, digital transformations, and manufacturing sector development. Previously, she has worked at Economic Research Foundation (ERF), New Delhi, the Secretariat for International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs) and Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries (RIS), New Delhi. She has also served as a Visiting Faculty member at the South Asian University, New Delhi and Ambedkar University Delhi. In addition, she has been a consultant in projects sponsored by the Department of Commerce, Government of India; Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR); Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Brussels; Centre for WTO Studies, New Delhi; Frederick S. Pardee Centre for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, Boston University; UN OHCHR and UNICEF.

About the Series

Critical Political Economy of South Asia

At a time when countries of the South Asian region are in a state of flux, reflected in far-reaching economic, political and social changes, this series aims to showcase critical analyses of some of the central questions relating to the direction and implications of those changes. Volumes in the series focus on economic issues and integrate these with incisive insights into historical, political and social contexts. Drawing on work by established scholars as well as younger researchers, they examine different aspects of political economy that are essential for understanding the present and have an important bearing on the future. The series will provide fresh analytical perspectives and empirical assessments that will be useful for students, researchers, policy makers and concerned citizens.

The first books in the series cover themes such as the economic impact of new regimes of intellectual property rights, the trajectory of financial development in India, changing patterns of consumption expenditure and trends in poverty, health and human development in India, and land relations. Future volumes will deal with varying facets of economic processes and their consequences for the countries of South Asia.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Commercial Policy
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Theory
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Government & Business
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies