Promoting Domestic Commerce for Sustainable Pro-poor Growth

Publication Year : 2021

Domestic commerce is the most pro-poor growth possibility in the country. Currently, it employs about 40 percent of the labour force and contributes about 52 percent to GDP. If it can be provided with an enabling environment, our estimates suggest that it could help increase the growth rate by at least 2 percentage points. To fix ideas, recall that evidence from history testifies to the following five propositions: Proposition 1. Trade is the original human activity that underpins all production and innovation. People have been trading through history, before industry and long before even settled agriculture and domestic commerce. Indeed, it is trade that facilitated all innovations including the industrial revolution. It may be recalled that England was known as a “nation of shopkeepers” before the industrial revolution. Moreover, it was shop keeping and trade that propelled England towards empire.