New Measures Announced to Help Slipping Exports

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Aug. 28 – The government has announced new measures to help India’s 10 month export decline in its new Foreign Trade Policy for 2009-14 released yesterday.

The country’s exports have dropped by 31.3 percent during the first quarter of this fiscal year. The government has decided to act by expanding its export scope to offset declining demand from western markets, namely adding 26 additional markets in in Africa, South America and CIS under Focus Market Scheme (FMS), says The Times of India.

The new policy also outlines measures including tax breaks, special sops for labour-intensive sectors, interest subvention, dollar credits and maintaining its duty-free export promotion until the end of next year. Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma told The Times of India: ‘‘We cannot remain oblivious to declining demand in the developed world and we need to set in motion strategies and policy measures which will catalyze the growth of exports.”

The global economic slowdown has led India to rethink its exports forecasts. Sharma said the country’s  exports would reach US$200 billion by 2010-11 but did not give estimates for 2008-2009.

He said: ‘‘By 2014, we expect to double India’s exports of goods and services. In the last three years of the five-year policy, India will achieve a growth figure of 25 percent annually.”

India’s major export markets are Europe, United States and Japan at 36 percent, 18 percent and 16 percent respectively. The country recently signed a free trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that should further boost trade in the long run.

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