India to Unveil New Foreign Trade Policy

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Aug. 18 – India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma recently met with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to discuss the details of the new five-year foreign trade policy (FTP) to be unveiled on August 27.

The new FTP is expected to help exporters struggling with the recession in their traditional markets in the United States and the European Union through incentives. “We will be surely looking at market expansion because if the diversion and expansion of market is not there, we will not be able to respond to this challenge,” Sharma told The Hindu after the meeting.

Sharma said that the government could extend support but would not be in a position to generate demand from contracting economies in the West. India’s exports have been declining since October last year at an average rate of around 30 percent.

The country’s exports reached about US$169 billion for the period 2008-09. However, Mr. Sharma indicated that the policy would outline the priority sectors besides focusing on employment and labor intensive areas such as textiles, leather, gems, jewelry, and handicrafts. These sectors are facing difficult times as demand for their products have dried up significantly.

More details of the new policy will be posted on India Briefing when FTP is released.