KNN News, April, 05, 2014

Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher said the involvement of state governments is necessary to implement an export strategy and meet the trade policy objectives. “Inherent competitiveness comes from a country’s economic strength and addressing transactional issues, and these have to be addressed squarely. These were areas where the state governments need to get involved,” he said yesterday during CUTS 30th Anniversary Thought Leadership Lecture.

He said exports have now become a necessary ingredient of economic policy and therefore the export strategy would have to be mainstreamed in the governance structures of the government. Most of the ministries and departments of the government do not realize this imperative and it is time that they recognized that production was important not only for the domestic market but also for export, he added.

The programme was organised by CUTS International in partnership with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on the topic “India’s Export Competitiveness, Prospect and Challenges: The Role of Trade Policy.”

The Commerce Secretary declared that the country’s new foreign trade policy, which is on the anvil, will have to be fashioned to produce value-added diversified products and make inroads into new markets such as the CIS, East and West Asia and Latin America. He also sought to dispel the impression that free trade areas (FTAs) were inherently faulty policy instruments to promote trade.

“FTA’s offer an institutional mechanism for trade and it was important to know how these have been negotiated and whether industry was able to take advantages flowing out of such agreements,” he said, adding that studies have shown that in the case of the India-Korea FTA, only 20 per cent of it had been made use of by the industry.

This news can also be viewed at: