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Top USTR team in India to finalise mini-trade package

Nov 22, 2019

A high-level team of officials from the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) office is in India to talk to its counterpart in the Commerce and Industry Ministry to try and conclude the on-going mini-trade package talks.
 
“The US Trade Representative and Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal could not finalise the trade package during the Indian Minister’s recent visit to Washington due to some sticking issues related to market access for certain items for the US and restrictions on pricing for medical equipment. The USTR team that is visiting India this week will try to find a solution to these issues,” a government official told BusinessLine.
 
The disagreement is likely to be over the disproportionate demands made by the US compared to what it wants to offer India in the package, the official added. The US wants India to lower import duties on items such as mobile phones, high-end motorbikes like Harley Davidsons, apples, almonds and dairy items and also lower pricing restrictions for medical equipment manufacturers.
 
India’s demands are mostly defensive. It wants Washington to restore Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) benefits for its exporters that was withdrawn earlier this year and roll-back unilateral import duties imposed on aluminium and steel last year. It is also hopeful of getting increased market access for certain agricultural goods, including fruits and vegetables.
    
Source: The Hindu Businessline



Central American nation Costa Rica seeks Preferential Trade Agreement with India

Nov 22, 2019

Recognising the huge potential and opportunities in trade and investments, Central American nation Costa Rica seeks Preferential Trade Agreement with India. In an exclusive interaction with the Financial Express Online, ambassador of Costa Rica to India Claudio Ansorena Montero said that Costa Rica can be a gateway to the region for many critical sectors including Pharmaceutical and Electric products. Also, we are seeking greater cooperation with Indian companies in medical devices, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, bio medicine, Nano-technology as well as Space Cooperation.
 
According to the envoy, the potential to have a PTA with India was recognised in 2013 when the two countries had inked a Memorandum of Understanding on Economic Cooperation. “There were negotiations which led to the MoU which has yet to be enforced and can form the framework to formally launch specific efforts to enhance our commercial and investment relationship.
    
Source: Financial Express



India, US in talks to resolve trade issues: Government

Nov 22, 2019

India and the United States are in talks to resolve trade issues and both New Delhi and Washington hope to find an early solution, an Indian foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday.
 
Discussions have been going on between the two sides, Raveesh Kumar, a spokesman for India's foreign ministry, said in a news conference.
 
We remain optimistic that a solution will be found very soon, Kumar said.
 
The two countries have been locked in trade disputes for months, slapping higher tariffs on each other's products and the US withdrawing a key concession to India.
    
Source: India Today



India-Finland Joint Commission talks conclude in New Delhi

Nov 22, 2019

The two-day 19th session of the India-Finland Joint Commission concluded on Thursday in New Delhi in which both sides discussed several issues, including bilateral trade and investment relations, trade barrier issues and measures to promote trade, cooperation in the sectors of power, petroleum and gas, new and renewable energy, official sources told Xinhua.
 
The Joint Commission Session was co-chaired by Joint Secretary in India's Ministry of Commerce Nidhi Mani Tripathi, and by Piritta Asunmaa, the Director General in the Department for the Americas and Asia at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
 
The two sides also discussed issues related to environment, cleantech, science, technology and innovations, education and skill development, and labour mobility, digitalization, transportation, cooperation in the textiles sector, cultural cooperation and tourism cooperation.
 
Both sides reiterated the useful role of the Joint Commission as a forum for strengthening economic relations between India and Finland. The deliberations reaffirmed the partnership between the two countries.
 
Both sides also reaffirmed their will to continue their cooperation, in order to further expand the common ground that will reinforce the existing partnerships and create space for future opportunities.
    
Source: xinhuanet.com



Piyush Goyal holds discussions with seafood exporters to boost exports to $30-billion level

Nov 22, 2019

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday held discussions with seafood exporters on ways to promote the sector's shipments and take them to USD 30-billion level in the coming years.
 
Met a delegation of representatives from Seafood Exporters Association to aggressively promote fisheries exports and chalk out a roadmap for USD 30 billion of exports, the minister said in a tweet.
 
He said that the government is committed to safeguard the interests of fishermen.
 
India exports seafood worth over USD 7 billion. Frozen shrimp and frozen fish are major export items.
 
The US and south-east Asia are the major import markets of India's seafood products, with a share of about 33 per cent and 32 per cent in dollar terms, respectively.
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



G20 nations imposed 28 new trade-restrictive measures in past 6 months: WTO

Nov 22, 2019

 The G20 countries have imposed as many as 28 new trade-restrictive measures such as tariff increases, import bans and stricter customs procedures for imports between mid-May and mid-October 2019, according to a WTO report. 
 
G20 members include India, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, the UK, and the US, among others. 
 
In terms of numbers, G20 economies implemented 28 new trade-restrictive measures between mid-May and mid-October 2019, mainly tariff increases, import bans and stricter customs procedures for imports, according to the WTO's trade monitoring report. 
 
It said these trade restrictions among G20 economies remain at historic high levels. 
 
The restrictive measures cover an estimated USD 460.4 billion worth of traded merchandise, an increase of 37 per cent over the same period previous year. 
 
With restrictions accumulating over time, the share of global trade covered by such measures has soared, the report said. 
 
Commenting on the report, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo called on G20 economies to de-escalate trade tensions to spur investment, growth and job creation. 
 
Historically high levels of trade-restrictive measures are having a clear impact on growth, job creation and purchasing power around the world. We need to see strong leadership from G20 economies if we want to avoid increased uncertainty, lower investment and even weaker trade growth, he said. 
    
Source: Times of india



MEA: India will work closely with Lanka govt

Nov 22, 2019

India on Thursday said it had conveyed its expectation to new Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that Colombo would take forward the policy of national reconciliation to meet the aspirations of Sri Lankan Tamils for equality, justice, peace and dignity.
 
India’s hope was conveyed when external affairs minister S. Jaishankar met the new Sri Lankan President in Colombo on Tuesday. President Rajapaksa will be visiting India on November 29 and 30.
 
 The new Sri Lankan President has said he is committed to the development of his country’s northern and eastern provinces (with a large Tamil population) and considers India a valued partner in this, the MEA pointed out.
 
New Delhi also said it would work very closely with the new government in Sri Lanka. It also said bilateral ties should not be seen through the prism of any third country.
    
Source: Asianage.com



Agro Vision to begin in Nagpur from Nov 22.

Nov 22, 2019

Agro Vision, the biggest agri-exhibition of central India ,is all set to begin from November 22 at the Reshimbagh Ground here.Agro Vision, the brain child of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, aims to cater to the requirements of Vidarbha farmers in terms of showcasing new technology in farming, suggestions for allied business so that farmers earn more and prosper in their initiatives.
 
Agro Vision schedule comprises of National Agri-Exhibition, Workshop for farmers and OneDay Seminar.
 
    
Source: Uniindia.com



FCI asks states to pick-up food grains from central pool in advance

Nov 22, 2019

The Food Corp of India has written to states to pick up food grains required for six months from the central pool in a bid to make room in its storage facilities as rice procurement is likely to peak in eastern part of the country, a senior government official said. 
 
 
 
States can pick up stocks from the central pool six months in advance to distribute among beneficiaries under the national food security plan and several other state-run social welfare schemes, the official said. 
 
 
 
If states do not pick up stocks in advance we will not have space left to store rice this season. They can take it from us and distribute among the beneficiaries in advance, he said. 
 
 
 
According to the official, only Tamil Nadu and Odisha pick up stocks in advance required for public distribution.
 
 
 
We have asked the states to inform us whether there are any constraints at their end to offtake stocks in advance, he said. 
 
 
 
The Food Corp is also considering options whether they can allow delayed payment in case the states have financial constraints, he said. 
 
 
 
The Food Corp is sitting on a pile of food grain stocks and is looking at ways to liquidate stocks to store the fresh rice arrivals. As of Nov 1, food grain inventory in the central pool was at 60.48 mln tn as on Nov 1, over 22% higher on year. 
    
Source: cogencis.com



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