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Commerce Minister addresses exporters from Eastern Region to boost exports defying Protectionism

Commerce Minister addressing exporters in KolkataExporters from eastern part of the country who are the members of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) organised an interactive session with Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry & Civil Aviation on July 7, 2018 in Kolkata. 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. The objective of this meet was to increase exports from India and especially from eastern India by addressing internal as well as external issues and challenges.

“Volatility in currencies and liquidity challenges were incresing threats to India’s exporters’ community. There is urgent need for streamlining infrastructure and logistics issues to boost exports from Eastern Region. The issue of cargo detention at Indo-Bangladesh border due to infrastructure bottlenecks is a serious matter which should be taken up through bilateral discussion between the two countries. Also we have persisting issue of pending GST refunds of exporters,” pointed out Nari Kalwani, Regional Chairman of FIEO Eastern Region.

FIEO President Ganesh Gupta, however, commended the government initiatives that helped exporters to venture out to new markets despite challenges. “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. Our immediate target should be to further increase India’s exports by USD 100 Billion in the coming two financial years,” he said. Gupta also highlighted 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. In addition, he urged the 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,” the FIEO President added.

Prabhu lauded Indian exporters who performed well in June 2018, registering a 20 per cent growth in exports of India as compared to the previous month. According to him, the government had 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.

Presently, the 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,” Prabhu shared.

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.

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