Indian exporters not too enthusiastic about current trade incentives by the GoI
Prof Basanta Sahu from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) recently on a Trade Promotion of India post aired his views on how Indian exporters are not too enthused about current trade incentives by the Government of India (GoI) though it has its importance too.
Instead, he felt India’s focus should be more on choosing the right markets access, enhancing capacity usage of current FTAs (Free Trade Agreements) & Trade Deal Agreements with key countries, participation in global supply chains and rapidly improving trade facilitation & infrastructure in India.
Prof Basanta Sahu could not be more right as India needs to refine its domestic policies with a more sharpened focus on foreign trade issues in order to enhance its trade competitiveness with the rest of the world.
India today needs an office of India’s Trade Representative like the USA has the office of the United States Trade Representative.
Recent delays by GoI on the announcement of new Foreign Trade Policy 2021-26, Digital Commerce Policy covering crucial frameworks for e-commerce & Data Privacy Protection and crucial pending Trade Deal Agreements between India & USA/ EU/ UK and key countries all of which together can be the trigger to promote India’s exports and investments led growth in MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) and agriculture sectors and promote India’s GDP growth.
India today needs an office of India’s Trade Representative like the USA has the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).
India needs to give the ITRO (India Trade Representative Office) a Cabinet Ministry status and it must be led by the team of India’s top-ranking Strategic & Economic Affairs experts to strategise push India’s trade & commerce goals.
The Trade Representative Office must also have representatives from India’s Economic and Foreign Intelligence Wings to ensure there is no compromise of India’s strategic goals while promoting foreign trade and commerce facilitation with other countries.
An ITRO office will assist in a strategic coupling of foreign policy and trade policy goals as trade growth facilitation is the biggest trigger for larger strategic diplomacy between countries in today’s world.
The best example is China which thanks to its stupendous trade growth has managed to build strong ties with both developed and developing nations in the world so much so that post-Covid every country finds it difficult to detach its economic and diplomatic ties with China.
India’s soft power cannot be restricted to showcasing its democratic values of conducting free and fair elections, free press & judiciary, arts, movies and culture but it must also push its trade growth with every part of the globe to strengthen its position as a serious major power in the world.
The office of India Trade Representative as Nodal Agency responsible for developing, coordinating India’s international trade, commodity, FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) policy, and overseeing trade negotiations with all countries, is in India’s best interests to promote swifter trade growth with friendly nations across the globe.
The ITRO must have requisite powers to work with concerned ministries to ensure a speedy lazor focused execution of Foreign Trade Policy goals of India, avoid turf wars between multiple ministries on crucial trade-related issues and prevent different ministries from working in silos on important subjects causing crucial policy delays detrimental to the
economic growth interests of India.
Its important in 2021 as Borderless Online Commerce expands globally that India must view the promotion of free trade and lower trade barriers in a systematic timebound manner as a powerful tool to help India lift millions of people out of poverty and create
jobs led to consistent equitable economic growth.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.