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India's potential for export to SAARC countries must be tapped - Suresh Prabhu

Dec 18, 2018

In order to incentivise and encourage Indian companies to compete globally by improving their exports, the Commerce Ministry is working on various fronts like creation of new policies, improving Ease of Doing Business, scrapping irrelevant regulations and formulating the concept of growth of GDP in every district of the country. This was stated by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, in New Delhi. The Minister was speaking at the inauguration of the National Forum organized by Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) where discussions were held on India moving towards 'USD 1 Trillion manufacturing economy by 2025'.
 
The Minister further stated that India has not realized its full potential of exports and cooperation with neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and we must strive to work closely with these countries who have managed to become a part of the global value chain in industries like textiles.
 
As the Indian economy continues its growth trajectory and strives to reach USD 5 trillion by 2025, the manufacturing sector is expected to play a key role by contributing USD 1 trillion to the overall target, requiring the sector to grow 2.5 times in next 7 years.
The country needs to build further momentum and target at maximizing local value add, creating scale, capturing global market share and fulfilling India's job creation needs.
 
Prime Minister of India on many occasions has reiterated the need to collectively work towards realising the goals of Make in India and make the country a global manufacturing & innovation hub. To further strengthen an integrated approach, DIPP with the CII in close association has initiated the exercise towards developing a roadmap for achieving USD 1 Trillion Manufacturing Economy and has designed an action-oriented national level Workshop-cum-policy dialogue forum involving key manufacturing sectors.
    
Source: Business Standard



India, Maldives sign pacts to boost cooperation on IT, agribusiness

Dec 18, 2018

 India and Maldives inked four pacts including in the areas of cooperation in culture, agribusiness  and information technology and for easy facilitation of visas.
 
Welcoming the pact on facilitation of visa arrangements, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih expressed satisfaction that this will facilitate many Maldivians who send their children to school in India, to be able to accompany them, according to a joint statement. 
 
It added that the pact will also facilitate easier visa arrangements for Maldivian citizens and their families to come to India for medical treatment.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi noted that the new agreement will address the common concerns and ensure that people-to-people contacts are enhanced.
 
The Maldives is one of the very few countries with which India has a visa free arrangement.
 
The other agreements were on cultural cooperation, establishing mutual cooperation to improve the ecosystem for agribusiness and joint declaration of intent on cooperation in the field of information & communications technology and electronics.
 
According to the statement, both sides agreed to work together to create institutional linkages and to establish a framework of cooperation in areas of health, mutual legal assistance on criminal matters, investment promotion and tourism.
 
Solih arrived here on Sunday on a three-day state visit, his first foreign trip after assuming office in the island nation a month ago.
    
Source: Times of india



India making constant efforts to gain inroads into Chinese market: Suresh Prabhu

Dec 18, 2018

India is making constant efforts to gain market access in China for various commodities and an agreement was signed in November for the export of fish products, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said Monday. 
 
The government has been consistently making efforts to obtain market access for various Indian agricultural products, animal feeds, oil seeds, milk and milk products, pharmaceutical products, IT and IT-enabled services, etc, in light of the potential of these products and services in the Chinese market, Prabhu said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha. 
 
 
He was responding to a question on commodities selected by the government to make inroads into the Chinese market. 
 
In the last few years, various protocols have been signed to facilitate export of Indian rice, rapeseed meal and fishmeal-fish oil, he said. 
 
 
The minister said that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between India and China in May 2013 on cooperation related to import and export trade of fishery products. 
 
Pursuant to the MoU, protocol for hygiene and inspection requirements for the export of fish meal/fish oil from India to China has been signed on November 28, 2018. 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Food processors’ body GST relaxation on agriculture products processed at primary level

Dec 18, 2018

Ahead of the GST council meeting, the food processors’ association AIFPA on Monday demanded tax on agri-produce processed at a primary level be exempted or lowered to encourage the sector and boost farmers’ income. There are at least a dozen categories of products like pulp and concentrates, pickling, frozen foods and vegetables, as also dehydrated onion and garlic powder, that attracts GST of 12 to 18 per cent at present, All India Food Processors Association (AIFPA) President Subhod Jindal told reporters.
 
He said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates on these categories should be exempted or brought down significantly. The GST council meeting is scheduled on December 22. “GST tax levels are still a problem. There was some relief as the tax rates were brought down in some products after the intervention by the food processing minister. There are a few more products on which taxes are required to be reduced to protect the industry, Jindal said.
    
Source: Financial Express



Need to remove barriers blocking India at global market level: Niti

Dec 18, 2018

Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar Monday said there is a need to identify and remove impediments that are stopping India from achieving a competitive advantage in global markets.
 
It is time to bring the global trends to domestic market and make Indian manufacturing an exporting sector as it is an essential growth enabler, he said.
 
Kumar emphasised that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants Niti Aayog to explore ways to facilitate an environment for innovations so that India can also witness domestic companies growing to become Google and GE like big MNCs.
 
The Niti Aayog vice chairman also opined that slow growth in agri processing industry is one of the causes for distress in the farm sector in India.
 
We need to think carefully that what are the impediments for India to achieve competitive advantage in global markets? Kumar said at an event organised by industry body CII.
 
He also suggested top industrialists to spot sunrise industry and also select six sectors. Kumar also exhorted them to look for capturing 10 per cent of America's exports.
 
Looking for sunrise industry outside India, finding out their product innovations and adding other growth enablers outwardly will help shifting gears from domestic to global markets, the Niti Aayog vice chairman noted.
 
Kumar also insisted that team India needs to get over the divides between government and industry and also within the industry.
 
The real growth in manufacturing comes from the R&D capability of the vendors. The industry has to focus on developing the innovation capability of the vendors to match today's dynamic global manufacturing environment, he argued.
    
Source: Business Standard



Vibrant Gujarat summit 2019 to celebrate Africa Day

Dec 18, 2018

In a bid to boost India-Africa trade ties, the ninth edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investment Summit 2019 will celebrate Africa Day on January 19.
 
Talking to reporters, SJ Haider, principal secretary, Tourism said, On January 19th, we will be celebrating the Africa Day, marking the trade ties between India and African countries.
 
Over the last four years, the exports from the ports of Gujarat have doubled. Gujarat is exporting its products in 51 out of the total 54 African countries. We will be focussing on around 14 sectors where trade between the two sides is good, Haider informed.
 
More than 12 MoUs will be signed during the event, most notably in healthcare, education and mineral development sectors, he added.
 
As many as 32 African countries are participating in the summit.
 
32 out of 54 countries have confirmed their participation and other are expected to join, said Haider.
 
The trade show at the exhibition centre will have an African Pavillion, featuring various projects' progress carried out under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Gujarat and over 20 African countries.
 
The VGGIS will be inaugurated on January 17, most probably by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The significant addition in this year's edition of the global trade show will be business through buyer-sellers meet. For the first time we will have a reverse buyer-seller meet and vendor development sections, Haider stated.
    
Source: Business Standard



Organic food show to attract global retail chains, companies

Dec 18, 2018

Organic food will be the focus of the second edition of Indusfood — the government’s flagship international food show-cum- reverse buyer seller meet — with more than 200 global buyers already indicating their interest in sourcing from the country.
 
Large global retail chains, including Germany’s REWE, Australian Culinary Foods, Canada’s Global Choice Foods and Chile’s Soc. De Inversiones Granatta are interested in buying organic food at the Indusfood meet and buyer-seller meets are being organised for the purpose, said Mohit Singla, Chairman, Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI).
 
There is a huge scope for increasing organic food exports from India, especially processed food, as only 0.5 per cent of the global demand is supplied from the country. We are upbeat on that, said Singla speaking to BusinessLine. Total export of organic food products from India in 2017-18 was worth $515.44 million of which just $34.3 million was processed organic food.
 
At the buyer-seller meets, Indian companies will get to know more about the kind of items in demand in other countries which will help them expand their out reach. If an Indian company can sell ready-to-eat dal makhani, it should also be able to sell organic pumpkin soup to grab the global market, Singla said.
 
Around 600 global buyers from the food & beverages industry from over 40 countries and more than 500 Indian food suppliers will participate in Indusfood on January 14-15 in Noida, organised by TPCI and the Ministry of Commerce.
 
Other retail chains participating in the food show include Jumbo from the Netherlands, Lotte Plaza from the US, LuLu from Abu Dhabi, Panda Retail from Saudi Arabia, Loblaw from Canada and X5 retail group from Russia. Over the last two years we have visited more than 70 countries and interacted with thousands of buyers face-to-face to find out what they want. We believe that there is a huge demand for processed organic food and the Indian industry can cater to it if there is enough interaction with buyers, Singla said.
 
Products will be exhibited at the food show across 12 product segments ranging from consumer food, dairy products, marine, meat & poultry to Indian ethnic food.
    
Source: The Hindu Businessline



Export growth to surge 7% in Oct-Dec: Exim Bank

Dec 18, 2018

The Export Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) Monday said the country's export growth will surge to 7 per cent for the October-December quarter. 
 
The release of the estimates, done by the city-headquartered policy bank using in-house modelling method, comes days after official data showed merchandise exports growth slumping to 0.8 per cent for November on a base effect. 
 
The Exim Bank estimate said merchandise exports will go up to USD 82.39 billion for the third quarter of the fiscal year, as against USD 77 billion. 
 
Non-oil exports will grow 7.20 per cent to USD 71.45 billion during the same period, as against the USD 66.65 billion in the year-ago period. 
 
In a statement, the bank said it has developed an in-house model to generate an export leading index (ELI) for India to track and forecast the movement in exports on a quarterly basis. 
 
The ELI modelling will keep getting updated and the findings will be released by the bank on a regular basis, the statement added. 
 
The model and forecast have been reviewed by a standing technical committee of domain experts, it said. 
 
The country's exports growth slid sharply to 0.8 per cent in November from October's 17.86 per cent growth in what was attributed to base effects. 
 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



India, US contesting seven disputes under WTO: Commerce Ministry

Dec 18, 2018

India and the US are contesting seven disputes at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in areas including poultry, steel and export incentives, Parliament was informed Monday.
 
These seven cases pertain to poultry and poultry products from the US, countervailing duties against India's export of steel products, measures against import of solar cells and modules under National Solar Mission, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry C R Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
 
The other cases include the US's Sub-Federal Renewable Energy Programmes, United States' measures concerning non-immigrant visas, India's export promotion schemes and United States' tariff hike on steel and aluminium products, he said.
 
The US has challenged certain export promotion schemes of India and there will be no effect to the GST refunds provided to the exporters under the GST Act as GST issues have no linkage with this dispute, he added.
 
India considers that it does not provide any WTO non-compliant subsidies for exports, he added.
 
Replying to a separate question, the minister said that India's trade deficit with Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) members stood at USD 105 billion in 2017-18.
 
RCEP mega trade pact aims to cover goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights.
 
The bloc comprises 10 Asean members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam) and their six FTA partners - India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
    
Source: Business Standard



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