To counter China’s BRI, MEA launches growth model

Aiming to provide an alternative to the Chinese development partnership model that has pushed parts of the developing world to a debt trap, the Ministry of External Affairs has recently launched a platform called the Trilateral Development Corporation (TDC) Fund that would involve private sectors with state support for big-ticket investments in the Indo-Pacific region as well as other geographies.

India’s Global Innovation Partnership (GIP) launched with the UK on Friday at the PM Narendra Modi-Boris Johnson summit will provide a template to use the TDC Fund for trilateral projects with other countries like Japan, Germany, France and the EU who are keen to partner with India in the innovation and development sectors, ET has reliably learnt.

India’s contribution to GIP will be channelised through the TDC Fund. ET has learnt that GIP will try to scale up innovations developed by Indian enterprises to select developing countries in Africa, Asia and the Indo-Pacific. It is critical to have access to the right market information, right partners and flexible funding mechanisms and GIP will help Indian enterprises to overcome these barriers by providing support in the form of grants, technical assistance, hand-holding and development capital investment, ET has learnt.

GIP will adopt a market-driven model and it will be an equal partnership with the UK. Both sides have agreed to co-finance £75million over 14 years to implement various components of GIP. A new GIP Fund will be established to deliver the long-term capital investment component of the GIP. The Fund will also leverage additional £100 million from the market to support Indian innovations.

PM Narendra Modi has repeatedly called for supporting the internationalisation of Indian startups and taking Indian innovations global, a source pointed out, adding that GIP will fill this gap and expand the innovation footprint of India.

There was a long-felt need for the Ministry of External Affairs to move beyond traditional routes of grants and LoCs and adopt novel blended financing and PPP models to pursue development cooperation in third world countries. “GIP gives an opportunity to learn from the UK’s experience and expertise in this field and undertake development capital investments,” a source said.

GIP is expected to facilitate transfer of up to 60 Indian innovations to third world countries that will improve the livelihoods of around 5,000 people and help two million people access critical goods and services. It will create an online ‘E-Bazzar’ platform to connect multiple stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem and promote collaborations, ET has learnt.

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