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Hotel Leela Palace, Chennai
Date & Time
9 Professionals
Free Trade Post-Pandemic: Rationale vs. National

Mr Ravichandran Purushothaman

Madras Management Association,

Mr Peter Rimmele

Resident Representative to India

Prof Dr Heribert Dieter

Global Issues German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin,
Senior Fellow, Research Unit

Mr S Gurumurthy *

Editor, Thuglak,
Chartered Accountant, Columnist, Political and Economic Analyst

Dr Sunder Ramaswamy

KREA University,
Vice Chancellor

Mr Arun Kumar

Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi,
Malcolm S Adiseshiah Chair Professor

Air Marshal M Matheswaran (Retd) AVSM VM PhD

The Peninsula Foundation, Chennai,
Chairman & President

Mr Pankaj Madan

Deputy Head – India Office & Head-Programmes

Mr K Kumar

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP,
Senior Partner


Now that the threats of Covid-19 Pandemic induced scares on the society and the economy have slowed down considerably, if not eradicated entirely, there is cautious optimism about an early and complete recovery. However, no one is ready to fix a time frame or project achievable goals and It is not without reason! The entire post-pandemic economic discourse hinges as much on the pre-Covid situation as on the latter. Hence, there is a need for tempering optimism with pragmatism, acknowledge the opportunities and challenges, and also identify actionable initiatives, where the government and the industry have to work together for the nation to begin talking about the forgotten idea of a 'Five-Trillion Dollar Economy' all over again. 

In doing so, the nation's policy-makers as also the investor community has to be clear in their minds whether they could achieve it by continuing to remain as engaged with the outside world as in the pre-pandemic era or look even more inward, as induced by the pandemic-imposed global restrictions on the movement of men, material, goods, technology -- and investments. Or, is there a new evolutionary twist to the term globalisation as a strategic concept that should be implemented in its new avatar – Or, is the nation ready to postpone Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Five-Trillion dream' even more than what is already entailed by the pandemic. 

It is only through such an exercise, where 'market sentiments in the larger context dovetail with policy pragmatism, that the nation can hope to shed the slack from the past year(s) and move forward on a firmer and more realistic footing, without being over-optimistic or overly pessimistic.