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It’s Not Too Late for India’s New Beginning

July 22, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

New Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP party won election in part on campaign pledges to improve the environment for doing business in India, in part by improving India's intellectual property environment. Yet foreign developers of innovative life sciences products continue to face challenges securing intellectual property rights in India, including with regard to compulsory licenses, patent denials, and patent revocations. Meanwhile, India has fallen to 134th in the World Bank's Doing Business Index and to 76th (from 62nd in 2011) in INSEAD's Global Innovation Index. This is a reflection of Indian policies in recent years that have focused more on advantaging domestic producers at the expense of foreign competitors as opposed to boosting the innovation capacity of India’s own entrepreneurs, businesses, and industries. While it's still early in Modi's tenure, and there are some positive signs of prog ress, if India is to become a robust 21st-century economy it must renounce the tried-and-failed innovation mercantilist policies of the past and instead embrace core tenets of free and competitive markets, open and non-discriminatory trade, protections for innovators' intellectual property, and openness to flows of goods, technology, capital, and people.