Commerce ministry looks at doubling exports by 2025
28 August 2018
The union cabinet has approved the proposal of the department of commerce to give focused attention to 12 identified champion services sectors for promoting their development, and realising their potential as the country faces the challenges of uncertainty of global trade, lack of leverage for banks affecting availability of credit, high logistics cost as also issues like productivity and product standards and quality.
Chairing a meeting of different stakeholders and commerce ministry officials to discuss a strategy for revitalising India’s exports and doubling the country’s exports by 2025, union minister of commerce and industry and civil aviation Suresh Prabhu said a special strategy is being prepared for the service sector in order to achieve broad-based growth instead of the existing pre-dominance of IT-ITeS, diversification of services exports across geographical territories.
He said state governments have been sensitised to formulate new structures, policies and action plans for service sector and promotion of India as a services hub.
The agricultural export policy is in the process of being finalised, after incorporating stakeholders’ comments.
Commodity and territory specific strategy is also being prepared for items like gems and jewellery, leather, textile and apparel, engineering sector, electronics, chemicals and petrochemicals, pharma, agri and allied products and marine products, he said.
Territory specific strategy will cover North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Europe, North East Asia, ASEAN, South Asia, Latin America, Africa and WANA, Australia, New Zealand, and CIS.
The commerce minister said that apart from traditional markets India must also look at boosting trade with smaller countries and explore new territories like Africa which has 54 countries but accounts for only 8 per cent of exports from India. The minister exhorted exporters to not miss the opportunity presented by China’s consumer market and make the most of the world’s mega import expo being held in China in November 2018.
Exports create jobs, bring in foreign exchange and validate India’s international competitiveness.
Minister of state for commerce and industry C R Chaudhary will be the chairperson of this mission and will regularly review the work of different export promotion councils and divisions of the ministry of commerce.
The commerce minister has already held two meetings with key ministries for preparing sectoral export strategies which are being finalised. Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) has done a study identifying new markets for $100 billion of exports in traditional products.
EXIM Bank has conducted market research and draft export strategy is being prepared.
Since India acceded to WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in April 2016, it has prepared an action plan containing specific activities to further reduce bottlenecks to trade. To facilitate transparency through Ease of Doing Business and IT initiatives DGFT and SEZ have been integrated online with customs ICEGATE and mandatory documents required for exports and imports have been reduced to 3 each.
Import Export Code (IEC) has been integrated with PAN and an MoU has been signed with GSTN for complete integration. Electronic bank realisation certificate (eBRC) system has been shared with 14 state governments for quick tax refunds and MoU signed with GST Network for integration of e-BRC with GSTN. State governments have been provided access to DGCI&S export data in real time.