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Bangladesh-India trade agreement is very important, says Suresh Prabhu

Sep 26, 2018

Our future is depending on the global trade," he said while addressing a civic gathering as the chief guest at Bangla Bazar Fatema Khanam College Auditorium in Bangladesh here organised by the Bhola Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
 
He said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina are trying to help each other in developing the two countries.
 
The Indian minister said, "Bangabandhu had extraordinary capability and he signed the India-Bangladesh friendship treaty with Indira Gandhi.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said that both Prime Minister of Bangladesh and India are working together for the betterment of the people.
 
Captain(retd) A B Tajul Islam, MP, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Deputy Commissioner of the district Masud Alam Siddique, Mrs Uma Prabu, Joint Secretary of Indian Civil Service Shefali Junigha and Square Group Managing Director Tapan Chowdhury, Basundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan and Islam Group Chairman Monjurul Islam were also present at the event.
    
Source: India Today



Finance Ministry, RBI working out mechanism to ensure smooth India-Iran trade: Commerce Secretary

Sep 26, 2018

The finance ministry and the RBI will work out a mechanism to ensure that India and Iran trade does not get disrupted following the decision of the US to impose sanctions on the import of Iranian crude oil, a top government official said Tuesday. 
 
Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan said they are telling exporters that proper mechanisms will be put in place to ensure that the trade does not get disturbed with Iran. 
 
 
In May, the Trump administration had pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and brought back economic sanctions against Tehran. 
 
The US has told India and other countries to cut oil imports from the Gulf nation to zero by November 4 or face sanctions. India is yet to take a call on complying with the US sanctions on Iran. 
 
We are certainly urging the departments concerned to put in place an arrangement, as and when required, which ensure that there is no disruption (in trade), Wadhawan told reporters here. 
 
He added that ministry of finance and the RBI will work out various mechanisms to ensure that trade does not get disturbed. Those mechanisms will be worked out. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Tripura: Govt approves nine new commodities for import to Bangladesh

Sep 26, 2018

Bangladesh Tuesday approved the import of nine new commodities from Tripura through three land customs stations of the state.
 
Tripura has eight land customs stations in different districts, which together exported 21 commodities to Bangladesh. The nine new items added to the list of exported items will enjoy the relaxation of port restrictions.
 
A notification issued by Director of Industries and Commerce Sandip R Rathore stated six new items would be allowed for export from Tripura to Bangladesh through Agartala-Akhaura International Check Post (ICP). These include raw latex, bamboo-based products, broomstick flowers, soyabean seeds, spare parts of motor-vehicles run by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and maize.
 
Meanwhile, rice, betel leaves and dry fishes will be exported from the state through Srimantapur Land Customs Station in Sipahijala district and Manughat Land Customs Station in the southern part of the state.
 
Land Port Authority of India (LPAI) officer and Manager of Agartala-Akhaura, ICP Debashish Nandi said that fishes and other perishable organic items are checked through animal quarantine system before they are granted entry into India. He added that similar rules are applicable for export. The official also said that all items approved in the new list would undergo similar procedures available for previously approved commodities.
    
Source: Indian Express



FDI in food processing touches $1-billion mark this year: Harsimrat Kaur Badal

Sep 26, 2018

The foreign direct investment (FDI) in the food processing sector has already touched the USD 1-billion mark so far this year, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said Tuesday. 
 
 
When we took over the government in 2014, FDI in the food processing sector used to be USD 500 million every year. This year, we touched USD 1-billion mark. This is a tip of the iceberg, we have to go a long way," Badal said addressing the CII event on post harvest and logistics. 
 
According to official data, FDI in the food processing sector was USD 904.9 million in the 2017-18 fiscal, while it stood at USD 727.22 million, USD 505.88 million and USD 515.86 million in 2016-17, 2015-16 and 2014-15, respectively. 
 
The FDI in multi-brand retail was allowed keeping in mind the need to boost food processing level and provide an alternative market to farmers to sell their produce, she said. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Germany pitches for resumption of EU-India free trade agreement talks

Sep 26, 2018

Germany on Tuesday pitched for resumption of the European Union-India free trade agreement (FTA) talks, saying both sides should do so for strategic reasons and to send out a strong political message.
 
German Ambassador to India Martin Ney at a press conference here also said, both the EU and India should set a standard to guide trade relations in the future, when a very political figure is doubting free trade”. He, however, did not mention, whom he meant by that political figure.
 
Germany has been a fervent advocate of FTA (EU-India)...We detect a willingness from the Indian side to resume negotiations, Ney said, adding an important aspect of that is to set industry standards, meaning there should be one standard. “Both sides would benefit from the economies of scale. But, more so, we should together set standards and not wait for the others to set it for us, the envoy said.
 
During his visit to Berlin in 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met German Chancellor Angela Merkel and held bilateral talks. At the summit, the deadlock over the FTA between India and the EU was highlighted and Merkel along with senior business leaders had urged the Indian Prime Minister for the speedy conclusion to the agreement.
 
There are growing protectionist trends around the world, but Germany believes the value chains are so deeply interconnected that we will continue to create fair trading conditions. Within this context, it is important that the FTA makes progress, Merkel had said. The negotiations have been tough because every country must safeguard its own interests and Germany will ensure that India’s concerns are also put on the table, she said.
    
Source: The Hindu Businessline



Uzbek President to visit India next week

Sep 26, 2018

Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev will embark on his maiden state visit to India next week and a number of agreements in political and economic sectors are expected to be signed during his visit, said the country's ambassador Farhod Arziev on Tuesday.
 
The first visit by Uzbekistan President will take place early next week. Expectations from both the sides are high. The recent trends of political dialogue, trade and economic interactions between two countries have been very dynamic, Arziev said. He added that Mirziyoyev's visit will further deepen the strategic partnership between India and Uzbekistan and increase cooperation in education, culture, tourism and various other sectors.
 
We will see a number of important agreements being signed in different areas in political, economic, humanitarian and many other sectors. The visit will also contribute to increasing our people-to-people contacts and establishing partnerships between our regions and cities, Arziev said.
 
He informed that two partnership agreements between Gujarat and Andijan and another between Samalkha and Agra are expected to be signed during the visit.
 
In June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Mirziyoyev on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in China's Qingdao. In August, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held bilateral discussions with the Uzbek President during her visit to the Central Asian country.
    
Source: Business Standard



India to impose duties on imports within WTO norms: Commerce Secretary

Sep 26, 2018

India will impose duties on imports within the norms of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to protect domestic industry and boost the economy, the commerce ministry said Tuesday. 
 
We will use those options to further our interests', whether it is to develop our own economy or to protect our consumers from sub-standard products or whether to regulate some products in public interest. So certainly those options will be exercised,Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan told reporters. 
 
He was replying to a question about the government's decision to impose import restrictions on imports of non-essential products. 
 
He said that as far as tariff policy is concerned, India is a developing economy and it has the right under the WTO to use tariff within the bound rates. 
 
 
Bound duty rates are tariffs over which a WTO member country cannot hike the customs duties. 
 
Developing country's infant industries' need protection. Our bound (duty rates) in the WTO have been shaped in that philosophy. We will certainly use...,he added. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



India, Mauritius to hold next round of FTA talks from Wednesday

Sep 26, 2018

and Mauritius will hold the next round of negotiations from Wednesday for the proposed free trade agreement (FTA), which is aimed at liberalising norms to boost two-way commerce and investments. The three-day talks for the agreement, which is officially dubbed as the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA), will start from Wednesday, a government official said. During the deliberations, both the sides would discuss issues related to trade in goods and services.
 
In an FTA, two trading partners cut or eliminate duties on majority of goods besides liberalising norms to promote services trade and boost investments. According to experts, India may not get a substantial benefit in the goods sector as Mauritius is a small market, but services sectors such as IT and tourism hold huge potential to enhance economic ties.
 
Interestingly, Mauritius is also holding negotiations for a similar pact with China, with which India has a huge trade deficit. The trade gap was USD 63 billion in 2017-18. The island nation is the top source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into India. In 2017-18, India received USD 15.94 billion as compared to USD 15.73 billion in the previous financial year.
 
The bilateral trade between the countries increased to USD 1.1 billion in 2017-18 from USD 900 million in 2016-17. India exports petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, cereals, cotton and electrical machinery, among others, to Mauritius. The island nation exports to New Delhi include iron and steel, pearls and precious/semi-precious stones.
    
Source: Financial Express



Cabinet may consider Rs 4,500-cr package to sugar sector on Wednesday

Sep 26, 2018

The Cabinet is likely to consider Wednesday the Rs 4,500 crore package for the cash-starved sugarNSE 2.40 % sector, which includes doubling production assistance to growers and transport subsidy for export up to 5 million tonnes in the next marketing season starting October, sources said. With assembly elections due in some states and upcoming general polls in mid-2019, the government has worked out a second package to bail out the sugar industry which is facing a glut-like situation because of record production of 32 million tonnes in the 2017-18 marketing year that ends this month. 
 
The last financial assistance announced in June was to the tune of Rs 8,500 crore. 
 
 
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) is scheduled for tomorrow and the Food Ministry's 'Comprehensive policy to deal with excess sugar production in the country' is on the agenda of the meeting, the sources said. 
 
Under the proposed policy, the ministry has recommended offsetting cost of sugarcane to sugar millsNSE 0.46 % by increasing the production assistance paid to growers to Rs 13.88 per quintal for the 2018-19 marketing year (October-September) from Rs 5.50 per quintal for this year. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Cabinet may take up Operation Green scheme Wednesday: Badal

Sep 26, 2018

The Cabinet is likely to consider Wednesday a proposal to launch a new scheme 'Operation Green' with a corpus of Rs 500 crore to aid farmers in times of erratic price fluctuation in tomatoes, onions and potatoes, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said Tuesday. 
 
Another cabinet proposal to set up a non-banking financial company (NBFC) with an initial corpus of Rs 2,000 crore to meet credit needs of the food processing sector is expected to be taken up in the next week, she said. 
 
We are seeking cabinet approval for two schemes. I feel the TOP (tomatoes, onions and potatoes) scheme may be taken up in the tomorrow's cabinet meeting. The NBFC proposal may come up next week," Badal said on the sidelines of a CII event. 
 
 
The Operation Green or the TOP Scheme is a simple scheme, announced in this year's Budget, will be implemented on a pilot basis for two years after the Cabinet nod, she said. 
 
 
Elaborating further, Badal while addressing the event said that the TOP scheme will focus only on three produce tomatoes, onions and potatoes. Three clusters for each produce have already been identified. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



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