Strengthening Multilateral Institution best bet against rising protectionism: Suresh Prabhu
With an objective to deliberate on trade related issues and policy matters pertaining to exports from Eastern India, an interactive session was organized under the aegis of FIEO with Mr Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industry & Civil Aviation on July 7, 2018. The session was attended by leading exporters of Eastern India, Heads of Export Promotion Councils, Chambers of Commerce and other International Trade related organizations. Senior officers from Ministry of Commerce, DGFT, DGCIS, Chief Commissioner Customs, Chairman KOPT and other Senior Government officials.
Mr Nari Kalwani, Regional Chairman of FIEO Eastern Region stated that trade restrictive measures, volatility in currencies and liquidity challenges were rising threats to India’s exporters’ community. He stressed on the need for streamlining infrastructure and logistics issues to boost exports from Eastern Region. The issue of cargo detention at Indo-Bangladesh border due to infrastructural bottlenecks, was a matter which should be taken up through bilateral discussion between the two countries. Further, he also raised the persisting issue of pending GST refunds of exporters.
Mr Ganesh Kumar Gupta, President, FIEO stated that the Government has taken proactive measures for gaining market access in China, amidst rising protectionism in developed countries. The Government has been taking firm measures to cement trade ties with Africa and Latin American countries to boost its exports. He mentioned that the immediate target should be to further increase India’s exports by USD 100 Billion in the coming two financial years. He also mentioned about a product-market export study, wherein FIEO has identified 685 products at HS 6 digit, which India may export to potential countries, to boost its exports.
Further, he urged the Hon’ble Minister to roll out E-wallet facility from October 1, 2018 and more importantly, take trade & industry into confidence so that their concerns are addressed before the scheme is launched. The pre-import condition imposed on Advance Authorization should be immediately removed as it affects inventory management, besides impacting domestic procurement.
Mr Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industry & Civil Aviation stated that he was glad that the number of exporters were rising in India. In the month of June 2018, there was a 20% rise in exports of India as compared to the previous month. The Government has taken large number of measures in few months to promote exports, amidst rising protectionism in developed Countries. He also mentioned how India has taken a firm stand at international level to emphasize on the role of WTO for resolving global trade disputes.
He stated that Government of India is trying to work out a lot of bilateral trade agreements, especially with Latin American Countries, Africa, CIS countries and the GCC countries. The UK is also eager to get into a trade agreement with India, post BREXIT. The government is working on preparing a robust roadmap for export financing and insurance towards exports.
Also present were Mr Vineet Kumar, Chairman, KoPT; Mr Jyotirmoy Poddar, DG, DGCIS; Mr S N Saha, Chief Commissioner of Kolkata Customs; Mr S Mishra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt of India and Ms Anindita Sengupta, Additional DGFT, Kolkata, among others.