Smitha Francis

Dr. Smitha Francis is currently a Consultant at the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development (ISID), New Delhi. Previously, she worked at the Economic Research Foundation (ERF), New Delhi, the Secretariat for International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs;, and at the Research and Information Systems (RIS), New Delhi. She has also been a Visiting Faculty at the South Asian University and Ambedkar University, New Delhi. In addition, she has been a consultant in projects sponsored by the Department of Commerce, GoI; ICSSR; the 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; etc. An economist by training, she has worked on policy issues relating to international trade and finance, industrial policy and industrial restructuring, Southeast Asian economies, and macroeconomic policy interactions under globalisation for nearly two decades now. While currently researching the electronics industry and the impact of digital technologies on the manufacturing sector, for the last several years she has been exploring how different processes of trade and financial liberalisation involving trade, FDI and other foreign capital flows influence national industrialisation processes and development trajectories. She has highlighted rarely-studied interfaces between India’s trade and FDI liberalisation and other industrial policies and their adverse impact on incentives for domestic manufacturing. She has been advocating the critical importance of developing indigenous capabilities through focussed state efforts for developing and sustaining a competitive national manufacturing sector and the need for policy coherence across India’s trade and FDI policies towards the same. Some of her recent publications include: ‘India’s Electronics Manufacturing Sector: Getting the Diagnosis Right’ (Economic & Political Weekly), “Evolution of Technology in the Digital Arena: Theories, Firm-level Strategies and State Policies (Centre for WTO Studies), ‘Towards a Progressive Industrial Policy in the Time of Global Value Chains and Free Trade Agreements: An overview with a focus on India’, (Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung), ‘An Analysis of India’s Merchandise Export Performance during 1999-2013: Existing Competencies and Emerging Policy Challenges’ (Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry), ‘Preferential Trading Arrangements and the Indian Economy’, in Jayati Ghosh ed., India and the World Economy (Oxford University Press), ‘Capital Account Regulatory Space under India’s Investment and Trade Agreements’ in Kevin Gallagher ed. Compatibility Review of the Trade Regime and Capital Account Regulations (Boston University), ‘India’s Comprehensive Trade Agreements: Implications for development trajectory’ (Co-authored with Prof. Murali Kallummal, Centre for WTO Studies), ‘Foreign Direct Investment Concepts: Implications for Negotiations’ (Economic & Political Weekly), etc.

Delhi, India