New Foreign Trade Policy to expand the reach of Focus Market Scheme
The Dollar Business Bureau The Government of India is all set to announce its much-awaited Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-20, on April 1, 2015. The information on unveiling of the FTP 2015-20, was given by the Union Commerce Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman in a Twitter post. The new FTP, which was expected to be announced in 2014 could not take form then, however, governmental initiatives like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ have stepped up the need for the new FTP that will facilitate ‘ease of doing business’. The new FTP, is expected to offer sops for the sectors facing weak global demand and also for the sectors exhibiting robust performance at the global level, which includes textiles, electronics and engineering goods, among others. It is likely to focus on enhancement of services sector exports and include sops for labour incentive sectors like leather and handicrafts. Through the new FTP announcement, the government is also likely to expand the Focus Market Scheme, giving a way for the exporters to reach out to Indian missions and embassies located abroad, for assistance. The new policy is likely to include a separate chapter on promotion of project exports and better utilization of the Free Trade Agreements (FTA). The Union Commerce Minister had recently said that New Delhi was ready for talks with the EU over the trade facilitation agreement, which has been pending since a long time. Besides this, India’s free-trade pacts with Russia, Peru are also on cards. Information to this effect was given by the Commerce Secretary, Rajeev Kher, in his address at an International Engineering and Technology Fair (IETF)-2015, organized by Confederation of Indian Industry, in February 2015. Speaking at the meet, the Commerce Secretary had informed that a joint working group has been set up to analyse India’s trade feasibilities with Russia and Peru. He further said that the negotiations for trade pact will start after the group submits its report, which is expected to happen in the next three to six months. Besides, the Government of India is also mulling to enhance its economic cooperation with other nations including Africa, South Asia, West Asia, Central Asia, Latin America and the Carribean.
This article was published on March 28, 2015.