Panel Discussions

Panel discussion on ‘Brexit’s Impact on India’ held on September 4, 2016 by Centre for International Business & Policy (CIBP) in BIMTECH campus

The Center for International Business and Policy (CIBP), BIMTECH organized a panel discussion on ‘Brexit’s Impact on India’ on September 4, 2016. Alumni from the 2006-2008 batch of PGDM-International Business were invited as guest panelist for the event. The panel consisted of Sacheesh Sharma presently with State Bank of India, Rakesh Chadha, Site Lead, Amazon, Prashant Hasija, currently working as a Manager in Deloitte and Sugandh Sinha, a digital marketing and business development professional turned entrepreneur. Anchoring was done by Aishwarya Omar, class representative of PGDM (IB) 2015-17 batch and the discussion was attended by faculty members as well as first and second year students of PGDM-IB. The discussions were moderated by Rakesh Chadha.

In his opening statement, Rakesh Chadha emphasized on the immense relevance of the topic for students of International business. He further explained how economic cooperation has evolved in the international stage. Underlining the proportional relationship between trade agreements and the amount of trade among the member countries he outlined the implications of trade agreements in major world economies. Sugandh Sinha took over from him and continued to talk about the huge benefits that businesses reap through trade pacts. She gave an example of the ease in getting a trademark registered in the member countries bound by a trade agreement. She also pointed out the reduction in the cost involved in setting up a business in the Eurozone from 900€ in 2002 to 550€ in the present day. Taking the audience through the history of the European Union she exclaimed that the United Kingdom has had a turbulent relationship with the Union ever since the former joined in 1973. Several concessions from the EU did little to reduce the sizeable amount of pessimism against the EU existing in the British public space. Sugandh’s presentation focused on the major reasons for the exit of the British from the Union, including the mandated adoption of Euro over the much stronger British pound by 2020 and high influx of European immigrants into the UK.

Discussing the potential implication of UK’s exit, Sacheesh highlighted the predicted decadal decline of the British economy. He elucidated how London stands to lose the tag as ‘the Gateway to Europe’ to other cities such as Dublin and Amsterdam. Describing India’s cushion against Brexit’s impact, he said that India was in a safe position owing to its low fiscal deficit, benign inflation and substantial forex reserves. Answering a question posed by a student about the decrease in FDI witnessed in India as a response to Brexit, he added that such a response was due to market speculation and sheer unpreparedness of the world to see Brexit take form. Prashant Hasija explored the level of trade that India does with the EU in various industrial sectors. Analyzing the list of products imported and exported to Europe, he reached a standpoint that Brexit’s effect on India will be minimal. He pointed out that Indians stand to benefit from the vacuum created by the exit of European immigrants in the UK through increased demand for highly skilled workers who speak English. He reiterated that the British have chosen to take a risk and traverse an uncharted path for its economy. Following a question from the audience on the reluctance of UK to adopt Euro as the currency, the panel unearthed various reasons such as the relative strength of the British Pound Sterling, the pride associated with this decades old currency and the advantage of exercising control over its own monetary policy.

Conclusion:-

The panel and the audience arrived at the conclusion that, although Brexit may seem worrisome for Britain and the EU and relatively advantageous for India, the real implications can only be unraveled by time. It was agreed upon that the nature of economic relationship UK chooses to establish with the EU, be it the Norwegian model, the WTO model or the Swiss model should be closely observed by Indian policy makers to reap the best out the circumstances. The alumni were all praise for the student audience, who from time to time would shoot questions and make the panel scratch their grey cells. The alumni were thanked by the organizers and were given mementos for their participation by Dr. Anuj Sharma, Chairperson, CIBP and Prof. Rajeev Sharma, Curse Co-ordinator, CIBP.

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