The Telegraph
Tuesday , August 5 , 2014
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Foreign trade policy to list priority areas

New Delhi, Aug. 4: The five-year foreign trade policy (2014-19), to be announced by the end of this month, will focus on incentives to boost services exports and value-added diversified products, and increasing shipments to new markets.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) is giving its final touches to the policy. “The new FTP (foreign trade policy) is expected to be announced by August-end,” a commerce ministry official said.

The policy will also emphasise on standards and branding of products, and incentives and measures to revive interest in SEZs.

All export and import-related activities are governed by the foreign trade policy. It mainly aims at enhancing exports and use trade expansion as an effective instrument of economic growth and employment generation.

The policy will be designed to produce value-added diversified products and make inroads into new markets such as the Commonwealth of Independent States, east and west Asia and Latin America.

“Manufacturing at high levels of value and raising the scale of operations will be vital if the gains from mass production and riding on to the global and regional value chains have to be realised,” the official said.

The economic survey had proposed a strategy with a focus on three Es — electronic, electrical and engineering items — and rationalising the export promotion schemes to a bare minimum.

The survey said it was important for the government to do a reality check on existing free-trade agreements (FTA), focus on useful FTAs, address the problem of inverted duties, and give a clear signal for SEZs.

It also called for ensuring greater trade facilitation by removing delays and high costs resulting from procedural factors, building export infrastructure on a war footing and taking measures for a smooth intertwining of domestic and external-sector policies for agriculture.

These will help India increase its share in world merchandise exports to 4 per cent in the next five years from from 1.7 per cent in 2013.

The target of 4 per cent can be achieved if India’s exports grow by a compounded growth rate of 30 per cent.

The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (Fieo) has suggested a greater focus on the export of services and high-tech products.