New trade policy focus will be on spreading country's trade basket

To contain measures to provide more incentives for exporters

“Our focus in the FTP—scheduled to be unveiled next month—will be diversifying country’s trade basket by tapping new markets, where our products will be more price competitive,” Commerce Minister Anand Sharma told reporters here.

Earlier, in the day in the run up to preparation of the FTP the minister held meetings with chambers of trade and industry, export organisations and several export promotion councils to get the inputs for formulation of trade policy for the current fiscal.  “In the face of ongoing global slowdown which has affected our merchandise exports we are preparing for a shift in our trade policy by focusing more on tapping new and unexplored new markets,” he said.

“So far we have been focusing on our traditional trading destinations. Now there will be distinct shift for new trading areas while continuing efforts to further strengthen our positions in the existing overseas markets,” Sharma said.

“While the FTP will contain measures to give more incentives to exporters, there will be specific incentives for export to new markets,” he hinted.

In response to a query he said the overall focus of the FTP would be to make “our exports more competitive globally.” But at the same time efforts would be made to provide incentives to labour-intensive export-oriented manufacturing industries, which have been affected badly due to global slowdown, so that they compete at the international market with confidence, he said. Sharma assured them their “genuine concerns” would be looked into while formulating the FTP.

All possible support would be given to see that trade delivers its twin objective of leveraging of trade for employment generation and economic growth.

While FIEO representatives requested for the enhancement and continuation of incentives under various export promotion schemes, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) highlighted the bottlenecks being faced by different sectors. CII stressed on raising the share of goods and services exports in Indian GDP and wished for raising India’s share in global services exports in the next 5 years.

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