When the Nirmala Sitharaman-led Ministry of Commerce and Industry took almost a year in office to introduce the new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) in 2015, there were expectations that it would usher in a new era in India's trade.
Areas where workers faced foreign competition tended to have greater reduction in poverty rates.
Exports fell by 1.11% to $26.38 bn in October on account of contraction in sectors like petroleum and leather.
As long as a country holds its overall exports and imports in balance and does not borrow abroad to finance its imports, it has nothing to worry about. If it has to borrow large amounts in relation to its export earnings to finance its imports year after year, it runs the risk of losing its credit in international markets, as we indeed did in 1991.
No one nation is able to reproduce the kind of success China enjoyed in transforming its economy.
Launched in 2015, Service Exports from India Scheme is an incentive scheme that offers reward at 5% or 7% of net foreign exchange earned and covers service providers located in India.
The study puts the trade diversion effects of the US-China tariff war for the first half of 2019 at about $21 billion, implying that the amount of net trade losses of $14 billion. It shows that the trade war has resulted in a sharp decline in bilateral trade, increased imports from countries not directly involved in the trade war.
GDP numbers are interlinked to export growth, and India needs to improve both numbers.
Key issues include inadequate protection against import surge and insufficient differential with China.
The Indian position, sources said, has remained consistent and at no point has there been any effort to shift goalposts so as to undermine or scuttle the larger process. New Delhi had already made its proposals much earlier in view of the concerns raised by various domestic stakeholders.
It will rank them on some key parameters such as business environment, infrastructure, transport connectivity, access to finance, export infrastructure and trade support. Besides overall ranking, it will also be there for coastal states, landlocked states and hilly states. Both Niti Aayog and commerce ministry is working on this index.
India needs $1 trillion exports for a $5 trillion economy. But the pathway is bumpy and patchy.
A WTO panel ruled that Indian export subsidies are prohibited and should be removed.
In June, the US terminated India's designation as a beneficiary developing nation under the key GSP trade programme after determining that New Delhi has not assured the US that it will provide "equitable and reasonable access" to its markets.
This comes after India had on September 30 blocked a US request to set up a panel to settle its disagreement over the issue of retaliatory import tariffs on 28 US products.
A sluggish global demand is likely to reform the Foreign Trade Policy 2020-25 that might give a boost to Indian exporters with some ease in norms and providing export-rewards to GI products. Focus will also be on E-commerce and services industry.
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